James A. Johnston papers, 1905-1915

Overview of the Collection

Johnston, James A.
James A. Johnston papers
1905-1915 (inclusive)
0.2 linear feet
Collection Number
The James A. Johnston Papers consist primarily of his business records from his grocery store in Bozeman, Montana. Included in these records is an account book from 1905-1914, a cashbook from 1912-1914, as well as a few bills from Johnston's failed Springhill station grocery store.
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

James A. Johnston was born on 18 May 1858 in Bay City, Michigan. He moved to Montana in 1896 where he stayed until his death in 1916. He had one son, Guy, and two daughters, Ollie and Bessie. Johnston was very active in the Bozeman community. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Brotherhood of the American Yeoman. For nearly eighteen years, he owned and operated a grocery store located in the Masonic building. Johnston sold his business in 1914 to Hans A. Strand. His political career began in 1902 when he was elected Alderman for the Fourth ward in the Bozeman city council. He served as Alderman until 1904. In 1908, Johnston ran on the Republican ticket for Clerk of the Court, an office he held until 1912. After he sold his store in town and retired from politics, Johnston opened a country grocery store at the Springhill station on the north line of the Gallatin Valley railway. This business venture was not as prosperous and nearly destroyed him financially. This failing business coincided with his failing health and on 17 April 1916, Johnston died of Bright's Disease (an inflammation of the kidneys).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The James A. Johnston papers consist primarily of his business records from his grocery store in Bozeman, Montana. The account book from 1905-1914 and the cashbook from 1912-1914 make up most of the collection. A few bills from his failed Springhill station grocery store are also included in the papers.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The James A. Johnston papers were donated to Special Collections by the Gallatin County Justice Center in the fall of 1979 and separated from accession 2083.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2009 February 20

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Account Book 1905-1914
1 2 Cashbook 1912-1914
1 3 Bills from grocery business at the Springhill station 1914-1915

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Business
  • Business enterprises
  • Business records
  • Grocers-Montana-Bozeman
  • Grocery trade
  • Grocery trade--Montana--Bozeman (Mont.)
  • Grocery trade--Montana--Springhill (Mont.)

Geographical Names

  • Bozeman (Mont.)
  • Montana

Form or Genre Terms

  • Account books
  • Account books
  • Business records
  • Business records--Montana--Bozeman
  • Records (Documents)