John Moore Waters papers, 1851-1885

Overview of the Collection

Waters, John Moore, 1842-1907; Waters, Herman B.
John Moore Waters papers
1851-1885 (inclusive)
3 folders
Collection Number
1358, Collection 1358, MtBC, us (collection)
John Moore Waters was a Bozeman, MT, physician. His papers include letters created or collected by him, Civil War materials, and drawings created by his son, Herman B. Waters, while he was a student at Montana Agricultural College.
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

John Moore Waters was born in Keokuk County, IA, on October 11, 1842, the son of John M. and Margaret S. Waters. His parents removed to Illinois in 1844 and settled in Menard county where Waters attended school. During the Civil War, Waters enlisted in the 133rd Illinois Infantry, a 100 day regiment that served its entire term guarding prisoners of war at the Rock Island Arsenal. Afterwards, Waters began studying medicine and graduated from the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1868. He practiced medicine at Gibson, Ford Co , Illinois., but on account of his health came west to the mountains. In April, 1882, he settled in Bozeman and practiced his profession there until his death. He married on May 7, 1878, to Miss Emma J. Bierce, of Nevada, Missouri and the couple had three children: Herman B., Foley L. and Mary. Waters died on November 26, 1907. In 1898, Herman B. was a student at Montana Agricultural College in Bozeman, where he also did practical work with generators, machinery, and switchboards. He completed an M.E. at Cornell University in 1903. After graduation, he worked for the Missouri River Power Company at their Canyon Ferry station, generating power for the city of Helena, MT. In 1905, he became an instructor in electricity and physics at the California Polytechnic School and was later vice-director of the Department of Mechanics.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The John Moore Waters papers include letters created or collected by him. Most of the letters are from relatives in Illinois and Ohio who wrote to Waters family members and include information on family matters with some local news. One letter was written by Waters himself, and briefly describes his medical practice and economic conditions in Gibson, Illinois in 1872. Medical school documents consist of eighteen lecture admission cards for classes at the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, a library card, two receipts, and two schedules for lectures and examinations. Other documents include a Civil War hospital pass for Waters and some ledger pages showing his medical accounts. Twenty pages of drawings by Herman B. Waters appear to have been prepared for a mechanical drawing or engineering course.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

This collection was transfered to MSU Library's Special Collections by Wanda Walker of the catalog staff at the Museum of the Rockies, December 14, 1982. The documents were discovered in the attic of a house at 126 South 9th Avenue in Bozeman by the Tri-Cell Insulation Company on July 14, 1982. The drawings by Herman B. Waters were found in the archives stacks in 2023.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2013 December 31, and the Herman B. Waters drawings added in 2023.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Letters, 1851-1885Return to Top

Container(s): Folder 1

Container(s) Description Dates
1. To John Waters, Sr. from his sister Susan, Friendsville, Illinois,
Family news and description of her activities as an art teacher.
December 24, 1851
2. Fragment written by Mary Waters,
Family news.
circa 1864
3. From T. Scott, Farmer City, Illinois, to his sister Margaret S. Waters,
Family news.
July 31, 1869
4. From John M. Waters, Gibson, Illinois, to his uncle Joseph Moore,
Description of local economic conditions and his medical practice (with envelope).
September 21, 1872
5. To Margaret S. Waters from her neice, W. J. [McAdams?], Havana, Illinois,
Family news and visitations (with envelope).
October 4, 1872
6. From G. N. Bierce, Dayton, Ohio, to Mrs. Emma Waters,
News regarding her sister's illness.
September 23, 1885
7. From G. N. Bierce, Dayton, Ohio, to Mrs. Emma Waters,
News regarding her sister's death (with envelope).
October 13, 1885

Jefferson Medical College of PhiladelphiaReturn to Top

Container(s): Folder 2

Cards admitting him to classes in Medicine, 1866-1868 (18 items); 2 receipts showing payment for the classes; Papers showing the schedule of examinations for the classes; Library card for the YMCA library in Philadelphia.

Other papersReturn to Top

Container(s): Folder 3

Army discharge from the Post Hospital to return him to the 133rd Illinois Volunteers, Sept. 9, 1864; Notes from the ledger that show bills paid to him, 1878-1880.

Drawings of Herman Waters, 1898Return to Top

Container(s): Folder 4

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Medical colleges--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • Medicine--Practice--Illinois--Gibson
  • Medicine--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
  • Physicians--Illinois--Gibson

Corporate Names

  • Jefferson Medical College
  • Montana Agricultural College (Bozeman, Mont.)--Students
  • United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 133rd (1864)

Family Names

  • Waters family--Correspondence

Geographical Names

  • Montana
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


  • Physicians--Montana--Bozeman