Archives West Finding Aid
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Samuel I. Gaskill Wagon Train Log, 1878-1885
Overview of the Collection
- Gaskill, Samuel I.
- Samuel I. Gaskill Wagon Train Log
- 4 items
- Collection Number
- Collection 0104, MtBC, us (collection)
- The Samuel I Gaskill Wagon Train Log consists of an original handwritten log book along with three transcribed versions of Gaskill's diary describing the route taken from Shibley's Point, Missouri to Virginia City, Montana in 1878. The log describes incidents of overland travel, as well as cash book type notations that detail Gaskill's purchases as well as his activities.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
- 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
Samuel I. Gaskill was a New York native who immigrated to Montana from Missouri in 1878. He accompanied a wagon train led by Nathan Lay and James Lemons. Gaskill and his wife first settled in the Virginia City area, but by 1880 moved to Gallatin County in proximity to the other settlers who had comprised the membership of the 1878 wagon train.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
An original handwritten log book along with three transcribed versions of Gaskill's diary describing the route taken from Shibley's Point, Missouri, May 8, 1878 to Virginia City, Montana, July 31, 1878. Gaskill's name has been variously spelled "Goshill," "Goskill," "Gosnill" and "Coskill" in the three different transcriptions, but appears as "Gaskill" in the 1880 Montana census. The log describes incidents of overland travel, including the organization and regulations of the train, a prairie storm, and the Bannock Indian war of 1878 as reported in Idaho, Utah, and Montana newspapers. The original document, consisting of a bound ledger book of 560 sequentially numbered pages, contains all the aforementioned information along with diary entries written from Granite Gulch, Virginia City, West Gallatin, and Salesville, Montana from the beginning date of 1878 through June 12, 1885. Most of the later entries are actually cash book type notations that detail Gaskill's purchases as well as his activities.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
A positive photocopy of a typewritten transcript of an original diary owned by a sister of Mr. E.R. Heeb of Bozeman, Montana was donated to Montana State University on April 8, 1964. A carbon typescript, prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame from a copy in the possession of Virginia Thompson of Bozeman, Montana, was donated by Burlingame in 1964. A final version of the diary, photocopied from The Todds: A family history including all the descendants of Preston S. Todd and Elvira Epperson (Bozeman: D-Bar-S Promotion Agency, 1972) was donated by Francis Lay of Hereford, Texas on May 30, 1996 and supplemented with genealogical notes. On November 29, 2007, Cindy Foley of Kalispell, Montana donated the original log book which was subsequently added to this collection.
This collection was processed 2008 August 1
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|1/1||Original log book||1878-1885|
|1/2||Transcription by Merrill Burlingame from copy held by Virginia Thompson|
|1/3||Photocopy of transcription held by Virginia Thompson|
|1/4||Photocopy of pages from The
Todds: A family history
(Bozeman: D-Bar-S Promotion Agency, 1972)
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Bannock Indians-Wars, 1878
- Frontier and pioneer life-West (U.S.)
- Prairies-West (U.S.)-Description and travel
- Shibley's Point (Iowa)
- Virginia City (Mont.)
- West (U.S.)-Description and travel