Record of Events While Ranching on Billman Creek, 1886-1887

Overview of the Collection

Record of Events While Ranching on Billman Creek
1 folder
Collection Number
Collection 0504, MtBC, us (collection)
The Record of Events While Ranching on Billman Creek An original reminiscence and diary from an unidentified Park County, Montana rancher the record documents the writer's activities at a place he calls "Cold Spring Ranche" on Upper Billman Creek.
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

Ranching operations had been established along tributaries of the upper Yellowstone River as early as the 1860s with Nelson Story's ranch camp near the confluence of the Shield's River. Another tributary feeding into the Yellowstone River near present-day Livingston, Montana is Billman Creek, which rises on the western slope of the Bozeman Pass in the Bridger Mountains. This area was initially part of Gallatin County until the establishment of Park County on February 4, 1887.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Ruled and numbered pages likely taken from a bound ledger volume bear the title "Record of Events while ranching on Billman Creek" and has entries dated from October 22, 1886 through April 10, 1887. The first entries are actually a summation of the first three months, documenting the writer's activities at a place he calls "Cold Spring Ranche" on Upper Billman Creek, but after January 17, 1887 the dated entries appear to be made concurrent with the events they describe. Weather conditions factor heavily in these entries, along with activity such as cutting fence posts, moving cattle to various pasturage locations, and mentioning by first name family members, hired help, and neighboring ranchers. As the entries continue into the spring of 1887, the writer mentions his involvement in a civil lawsuit which requires him to travel into "town" [Livingston?] where he eventually loses the case. The folder containing the manuscript also includes a typed transcript prepared by Merrill G. Burlingame.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

An original reminicence and diary from an unidentified Park County, Montana rancher was deposited with the Museum of the Rockies in 1960 by Tom Toohey of Belgrade, Montana. In 1967 the document was removed by Merrill G. Burlingame and subsequently donated to Special Collections. The manuscript was initially credited to Tom Toohey because the Museum of the Rockies registrar added the name of the donor to the front page when recording their accession number on the document.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2011 November 7

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Actions and defenses--Montana--Park County
  • Ranch life--Montana--Park County
  • Ranchers--Montana--Park County Diaries

Corporate Names

  • Caver Co.--Trials, litigation, etc.

Geographical Names

  • Billman Creek (Mont.)
  • Cold Spring Ranche (Mont.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Diaries--Montana--Park County
  • Reminiscences--Montana--Park County

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Burlingame, Merrill G. (Merrill Gildea), 1901-1994