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Women in the Archives Research Guide


Montanan and Western history is a primary focus of Archives and Special Collections at MSU. As a result, there is a large amount of information centering around Western experiences. Women played important roles in Western life through farming, ranching, agriculture, and daily life. Women were vitally important to the functionality of farms in Montana over its history. In this section, you can find diaries, family papers, correspondence, and photographs on the topic of women involved in farming. 

Della J. Rowland Reminiscence

This collection is comprised of an undated, two-page handwritten account by Della J. Rowland of the Rowland family's voyage to Montana and Adelaska Rowland (Della's mother-in-law)'s later life as a farmhand and homesteader. It also includes some details of Della's life on the Rowland family farm and her work raising her children.

Cassandra O'Phelps Papers, 1914-1945

The Phelps papers include a variety of topics, including some key agricultural information. There are letters about farm foreclosures and the political response within the farming community, illustrations and pricing of farm equipment, and other farm information.

Louisa Burton Ledger, 1889-95

Louisa Burton, a farmer on the edge of Bozeman, partnered with her son Granville King to run the Burton farm. She rented out pasture to local stockgrowers and sold her own garden produce. This ledger contains accounts of the horses and cattle pastured on the Burton farm as well as vegetable sales to Bozeman residents and brief household entries.

Mary J. Buzzell Correspondence and Photographs, 1910-1913

This collection details the difficulties of the Buzzell family on their farm in Pondera County, Montana. The correspondence reveals some important economic conditions in Montana in the early 1900s as well as illuminating the role of women in communications concerning farming. The collection also includes photographs of the Buzzell farm and "one of the first apple trees planted in Pondera County."