M.J. Lott Papers, 1878-1908

Overview of the Collection

Lott, Mortimer J.
M.J. Lott Papers
.6 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 0347, MtBC, us (collection)
The M.J. Lott papers consist photocopied histories and reminiscences of the Twin Bridges area and original letterpress copybook, daybooks, and ledger pertaining to financial records of the family mercantile business created or collected by the Lott family.
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.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Judge Mortimer H. Lott was born in December 1827 at Lottsville, Pennsylvania. He moved west in 1857 settling in Kansas and Colorado, prior to his move to Montana in 1862. Lott and his brother John helped build Fort Kearny in 1863. The brothers opened their first general store in Nevada City. In 1865, the Lott brothers moved to Twin Bridges. Judge Lott married Melvina J. Carson in 1880. Lott died October 4, 1920.

John S. Lott was born in Pennsylvania, November 1829. John was active in the formation of the vigilance committee in Montana. He served on the jury when George Ives was captured and sentenced. He also lead the party which arrested Sherriff Plummer, head of the Alder Gulch road agents, and took him to his place of execution. Lott with his brother Mortimer established the Lott Mercantile in Twin Bridges. John died May 23, 1910.

Melvina J. Lott née Carson was born in Pennsylvania, April 1854. Melvina moved to Twin Bridges in 1879 as a school teacher. Melvina and Mortimer Lott had two children, Mare E. Lott Comfort and Mortimer J. Lott. Melvina was active in the Twin Bridges Woman’s Club and helped Mortimer document the history of Twin Bridges. She died October 9, 1942.

Mortimer J Lott was born May 25, 1892 in Twin Bridges, Montana. Lott was a former member of the Montana House of representatives (1932-1936), state senator (1938-1954), one time Twin Bridges mayor, and son Twin Bridges founder Mortimer H. Lott. He also operated a stock ranch on the original Lott homestead. Senator Lott died November 3, 1957.

The Lott’s were founding members of Twin Bridges, Montana. In 1890, they had the town plated. They provided financial and moral support to the Montana State Normal University at Twin Bridges. They donated 100 acres of land to the State Orphan’s Home, as well as giving 45 acres for the county fair grounds and race track.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The M.J. Lott papers consist of an original letterpress copybook, daybooks, and a ledger pertaining to the Lott mercantile business in Twin Bridges. Also included in the collection are photocopies of histories of Madison County and Twin Bridges, organization papers for the Montana State Normal School at Twin Bridges, the State Orphan’s Home, the Madison County Fair Grounds, an autobiography of Mrs. M.H. Lott, and a diary kept by Mrs. M.H. Lott on a trip through Yellowstone National Park in 1880.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Photocopied histories and reminiscences of the Twin Bridges area and original letterpress copybook, daybooks, and ledger pertaining to financial records of the family mercantile business created or collected by the Lott family. Items were donated to Special Collections by Mortimer J. Lott, Jr. of Twin Bridges, Montana May 8, 2003.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2016 January 22

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Picture list and researchReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/1

Container(s) Description
List of pictures: 2-252
Research done concerning picture 139

Diary, September 1880Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/2

Diary Kept on Trip to Geysers of the Yellowstone in September 1880 by Mrs. M.H. Lott

History of Madison County: Exploration of Montana (The Lewis and Clark Expedition) by Melvin J. Lott, Chapter 1-4Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/3

Lure of the West by Melvina J. Lott (pen name crossed out, Jane Carney Biddle), Chapter 1: Off for the WestReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/4

Twin Bridges history, clippings, biographiesReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/5

Container(s) Description Dates
History of Twin Bridges and Vicinity, Part 1 by Mrs. Melvina J. (M.H.) Lott, Historian for Twin Bridges Woman’s Club
Clippings: County Clubs’ History Gets Hilger’s Praise; Ex-State Senator M.J. Lott Dead
List and brief biographies of the first settlers and business’ of Twin Bridges

Twin Bridges and Madison County history, Orphan’s Home, Enabling Act, clippings, biographyReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/6

Container(s) Description Dates
Enabling Act
List of firsts for Twin Bridges (schools, buildings, positions, etc.)
Rochester Gulch article
Clippings: Cemetery Association will hold annual meeting, elect trustees, history is given; Who set Montana’s first sluice box?
Commentary on the Orphan’s Home Bill and Home
History of the Twin Bridges Woman’s Club by Mrs. Roy M. Austin
Chapter 3 of unidentified manuscript by Mrs. Lott
History of Madison County
Handwritten biography of Augustus Edwin Learson

Schools-Twin BridgesReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/7

The Montana State Normal University Journal, Twin Bridges, Madison County, Montana, Volume 1, #1, September 9, 1889Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/8

Montana Normal SchoolReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/9

Container(s) Description Dates
List of Donors
List of Petitioners to locate the Normal School in Twin Bridges, missing the first 34 petitioners

Montana Normal SchoolReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/10

Container(s) Description Dates
Normal School location clippings
circa 1893
1st and 2nd annual announcements
1889; 1890
The Normal School Question
Graduation Announcement
Graduation Announcement, Class of 1894
6th and 7th annual catalogue
1893-1894; 1894-1895

Senate Bill #52, 1892Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/11

(Orphans, Foundlings, and Destitute Children’s Home)

Report of Commission Appointed to Examine the Accounts of the Late Auditor and Treasurer of the Territory, April 2, 1866Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/12

Letterpress copybook, circa 1884Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/13

Daybook, September 30-November 13, 1878Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/14

Daybook, October 1879-April 1884Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 2/1

Ledger, 1881-1882Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 2/2

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Mines and mineral resources
  • Mines and mineral resources -- Montana
  • Politics and government

Personal Names

  • Coates, Grace Stone, 1881-1976
  • Coates, Grace Stone, 1881-1976 -- Correspondence

Geographical Names

  • Anaconda (Mont.) -- History
  • Butte (Mont.) -- History
  • Montana
  • Montana -- Anaconda
  • Montana -- Butte
  • Montana -- Politics and government -- 20th century
  • Montana -- Songs and music

Form or Genre Terms

  • Autobiographies
  • Autobiographies
  • History
  • Music
  • Personal papers -- Montana -- Butte
  • Poems -- Montana -- Butte
  • Records and correspondence
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., American -- Montana -- Butte


  • Poets, American -- Montana -- Butte

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Cavanaugh, Miles, -1915
    • Lovely, J. A. Montana the best