Morris State Bank Records, 1889-1928

Overview of the Collection

Morris State Bank (Pony, Mont.)
Morris State Bank Records
2 linear feet and 3 volumes
Collection Number
Collection 441, MtBC, us (collection)
The Morris State Bank records contains the records of Morris State Bank and Mining company records (Pony Gold Mining Company, the Indian Mining Company, and the various business operations of Elling and Morris). Records consist of outgoing correspondence, balance ledgers, deposit information, payroll registers, and other business information.
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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Morris State Bank was opened in Pony, Montana, in 1902, with a capital stock of $50,000. The bank moved into a newly constructed building in early 1903. William W. Morris was president of the Morris State Bank until his death in October 1904. Thomas Duncan served initially as vice president and then succeeded to the presidency in 1905. Following his death that same year, Mary B. Elling became president. Charles E. Morris served as a director in 19O2 and became vice president in 1905. Cashiers for the bank included Philip H. (Harry) Gohn and Fred G. Smith. Other officers included M. M. Duncan, a Virginia City attorney, who served as a director, and Henry J. Schreiber who was a vice president beginning in 1904. By June 1906, the Morris State Bank had achieved deposits in the amount of $200,000 and was conducting business with banks in Montana and throughout the country. A close business relationship existed with the Elling State Bank of Virginia City and the Union Bank and Trust Company of Helena, whose president was George L. Ramsey. The Morris State Bank closed and went into voluntary liquidation on February 1, 1926. At that time the board of directors borrowed $96,000 from the Elling Estates Company so that all depositors could be paid. The bank then came under the jurisdiction of a liquidating agent. The officers and directors of the Morris State Bank were businessmen and active members of the Pony community. Several mining operations and other businesses were connected to the bank through these people. Henry Elling and William Morris were partners in Elling and Morris, which bought the Boss Tweed-Clipper mines in 1880. In 1882, Morris bought the Strawberry, Willow Creek and Ned mines. In 1883, Henry Elling erected a stone 20-stamp mill. In 1884 Morris bought half interest in the mill, which thereafter was known as the Elling-Morris stone mill. Elling died in 1900, and the properties were sold outright in combination with the Bell, Eclipse, Charity, and Summit, to a Boston syndicate and reorganized as the Indian Mining Company. By 1901 the company made large-scale improvements, but relinquished its ownership to the mine to W. W. Morris and Sons and Associates a few years later. Most mining activity in the area ceased as the ore played out in the early twentieth century and the town of Pony today is all but abandoned.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Morris State Bank records have been divided into two series which roughly conform to the creating entities, although given the interrelated nature of the owners a precise separation is not possible. It is logical to assume that both sets of records were maintained by the bank throughout its operational history. Series one, Morris State Bank, represents primarily the outgoing correspondence of the firm, along with some financial information such as balance ledgers and deposit information. A single letterbox of correspondence and related documents alphabetically arranged was included with the bank records, but it is not apparent if the bulk of these files pertain to bank business or the various mining properties in which the owners had an interest. Series two, Mining company records, includes payroll registers for the Pony Gold Mining Company, the Indian Mining Company, and the various business operations of Elling and Morris. A broken series of deposit receipts and related documents for the Indian Mining Company from 1906 to 1908 have been chronologically arranged.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Series 1 Morris State Bank, 1902-1928

Series 2 Mining company records, 1889-1911

Acquisition Information

Record books, correspondence, and related materials pertaining to the Morris State Bank and mining operations in Pony, Montana were donated to Special Collections by Mrs. James A. Flint of Pony on July 27, 1966. Originally included with the donation were a set of records for the Pony School District Number 11 which have been removed for separate processing. In the summer of 1969 Emily Morris and Charles T. Howitt of Studio City, California, donated an additional payroll book from the Elling and Morris firm which was originally assigned accession number 795. This finding aid replaces NUCMC entry 79-689.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2009 June 29

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Morris State Bank Records, 1902-1928Return to Top

Outgoing correspondence of the banking firm from cashiers Philip H. (Harry) Gohn and Fred G. Smith pertaining to a wide variety of business matters. The correspondence is recorded in a series of nine letterpress books which bear the impression of outgoing typed letters on light tissue paper. A series of incoming letters and related financial documents are also included. The record books are primarily accounting registers which document the bank's financial status at any given time.

Container(s) Description Dates
Letter book
April 2, 1902-March 17,1904
Letter book
March 21, 1904-August 24, 1905
Letter book
August 24, 1905-October 15, 1906
Letter book
October 16, 1906-November 11, 1907
Letter book
November 11, 1907-October 13, 1908
Letter book
October 13, 1908-November 19, 1909
Letter book
November 19, 1909-February 20, 1911
Letter book
February 20, 1911-October 26, 1912
Letter book
October 29, 1912- December 15, 1913
Incoming correspondence and documents, "A"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "B"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "C"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "D-H"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "L-M"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "N"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "O-P"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "R"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "S"
Incoming correspondence and documents, "W-Y"
Telegram book
Reconcilement register
Reconcilement register
Safe Deposit Lesee's Register
Balance Ledger
General and Deposit Ledger

Series 2:  Mining company records, 1889-1911Return to Top

Primarily deposit slips from the Indian Gold Mining company along with payroll registers from various mining and other business operations owned by Elling and Morris.

Container(s) Description Dates
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
July 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
August 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
September 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
October 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
November 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
December 1906
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
January 1907
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
September 1907
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
May 1908
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
June 1908
Indian Gold Mining Company receipts
July 1908
Pony Gold Mining Company payroll book
Indian Gold Mining Company payroll book
Elling and Morris payroll book

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Banks and banking-Montana-Pony
  • Gold mines and mining-Montana-Pony
  • Mining corporations-Montana-Pony

Form or Genre Terms

  • Business records-Montana-Pony

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Elling and Morris (Pony, Mont.) (creator)
    • Indian Gold Mining Company (creator)
    • Pony Gold Mining Company (Pony, Mont.) (creator)