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The Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Rolla

The William Long Tolman Papers

St. Francois County Historical Collection

The Henry C. Thompson Papers

The Missouri Digital Library

The Commodore Perry Hill Collection

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The University of Missouri system-wide Western Historical Manuscript Collection is the Show-Me State's most comprehensive repository of primary historical documents. There is a branch of the Collection on each campus of the University of Missouri system (UM-Columbia, UM-Kansas City, UM-Rolla, and UM-St. Louis). Each branch acquires materials and prepares them for use. Collections held at one campus are available to researchers at the other campuses via a one-day courier service. Collections on microfilm are available through interlibrary loan.

The Rolla Collection focuses on the history of southern Missouri and the Ozark Highland. To complement the heritage and curriculum of the University of Missouri-Rolla, formerly the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, the Rolla branch also collects in the areas of mining, transportation, and technology. Major holdings include the records of the St. Louis-San Francisco ("Frisco") Railway Company, the St. Joe Minerals Corporation, and the American Zinc, Lead & Smelting Company.


Saint Francois County (Mo.).
Collection, 1876-1951, bulk 1901-1951.
Nine folders.

These are obituaries, wedding announcements, anniversary notices, and miscellaneous biographical material clipped from newspapers in St. Francois County, Missouri. An index is available.

r323; 15 November 1985; Judith A. Smith; gift


Tolman, William Long, 1833-1886.
Papers, 1852-1919.
Five folders, photocopies.

These are papers of the Evans and Tolman families of Farmington, Missouri, mostly of Dr. William L. Tolman and his wife, Margaret Frances "Fanny" Evans (1840-1921). Included are letters from relatives in California and Colorado, a file of letters from Civil War veterans seeking invalid pensions, and a collection of stories concerning the early settlers of St. Francois County.

Margaret Frances "Fanny" Evans was born in St. Francois County, Missouri, on 20 December 1840, the daughter of David Evans and Catharine (Murphy) Evans. On 7 December 1869 she married William Long Tolman, who was born on 23 July 1833 at Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio. He was the son of Hosea and Elizabeth Tolman. He received an M.D. degree from Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, in 1858. During the Civil War he was a surgeon with the Tenth Missouri Cavalry. After the war he established a medical practice in Farmington, Missouri, which he continued until his death on 23 April 1886. Fanny (Evans) Tolman continued to reside in Farmington until her death on 25 June 1921.

This collection has three sections. The first consists of family and personal correspondence. The second section relates to William L. Tolman's service as a medical examiner for the Pension Office after the Civil War, including letters from former military comrades seeking his testimony concerning disability claims. The third section is a collection of anecdotal stories collected by Dr. Tolman concerning some of the early settlers of St. Francois County and the surrounding area.

The personal and family correspondence begins with letters from Fanny Evans's brother, Michael Bacon Evans, who sought his fortune in the gold fields of California. Particularly significant here are his comments about factional strife there before and during the Civil War. Later there are papers dealing with Michael's murder by Mexican soldiers, and records of reparations paid to the family by the government of Mexico. There are letters from Fanny's relatives and friends in Missouri, and from W. L. Tolman's relatives in Colorado. In the late summer of 1882 Tolman visited Colorado, and there are letters to him from his wife describing events in Farmington. The papers of Fanny (Evans) Tolman continue until late in her life, and include items dealing with the Presbyterian Church and Orphanage in Farmington, as well as announcements of various social and cultural activities.

The second section, containing military and pension correspondence, 1866-1890, stems from Dr. Tolman's service as a Civil War surgeon with the Tenth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers. This unit participated in the Vicksburg and Meridian campaigns in Mississippi, returned to Missouri for the defense against Price's Raid in 1864, but ended the war back in the southeast at Macon, Georgia. Tolman was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee, in June 1865. The first items in this section are concerned with the loss of Tolman's personal effects and medical records in the sinking of the steamboat B. M. Runyan in the Mississippi River on 21 July 1864. In 1872 Tolman was appointed an examining surgeon on disability claims by the Pension Office of the Department of the Interior. There are several circulars and other communications regarding this service. However, most of the letters are from former comrades in the Tenth Missouri Cavalry who were seeking disability pensions. They needed the testimony of their former medical officer to satisfy the requirements of the Pension Office. However, since Tolman had lost his medical records in the sinking of the Runyan, he asked that the applicants describe in detail when, where, and how they had been disabled, and what treatments they had received. The resulting responses provide a unique record of service-related injuries to Civil War soldiers.

The final section is a collection of anecdotal accounts about some of the early settlers and events in St. Francois County and the surrounding area. Compiled in 1878 by William Long Tolman, the seventeen-page manuscript recounts several stories, some alleged to have occurred over fifty years previously. Some of the anecdotes are humorous, and deal with such subjects as frontier justice, bear hunting, and wolf baiting. Family names mentioned in the stories include Holliman, McFarland, Marks, Jekyll, Sebastian, and Murphy.

r235; 24 Jul 1984; Bert L. Beal, Jr.; loaned for photocopying
r253; 28 Nov 1984; Bert L. Beal, Jr.; loaned for photocopying



Thompson, Henry C.
Papers, 1884-1970.
29 folders.

These are papers of a trustee of the State Historical Society of Missouri, genealogist, and a historian of mining in St. Francois County and the operations of the St. Joseph Lead Company. The collection includes research notes and correspondence, and a group of lead company records, 1884-1902.

Henry Clay Thompson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1889. He was educated as an electrical engineer, and spent most of his career employed by the St. Joseph Lead Company in its electrical and mechanical departments at Bonne Terre, Missouri. He retired in 1954 as supervisor of the electrical department. He was an active civic leader, serving as the executive secretary of the Unicity Chamber of Commerce and participating in Masonic and church activities. He died at Bonne Terre in 1974.

A life member of the State Historical Society of Missouri, Thompson was well-known as a genealogist and historian of the lead belt of southeastern Missouri. He authored four books, most notably Our Lead Belt Heritage and Sam Hildebrand, a history of the St. Francois County Civil War guerrilla. As "The County Historian," he wrote numerous articles for various Lead Belt newspapers.

Thompson carried on a wide correspondence to gather details for his histories, and his correspondents included members of the Desloge family in St. Louis, and officers of the St. Joseph Lead Company in New York. He acted as semi-official historian of the company in 1951-1952, appointed by president Andrew Fletcher to begin work in 1951. His involvement was limited to that of researcher in 1952 by board chairman Clinton H. Crane, who was preparing his own history for the company's centennial in 1963.

In accordance with his wishes, Thompson's papers and research materials were placed in the Bonne Terre Memorial Library following his death. They have been filmed in two separate installments. Folders 1-21 contain general correspondence and notes on a wide variety of historical subjects, and also include a group of several hundred pages of records of the St. Joseph Lead Company, 1884-1902. While many of these records concern only routine operating matters, there a number of letters between Charles B. Parsons (1839-1910), the company's first superintendent at Bonne Terre, and officers of the company in New York. Several of the letters detail company financing and marketing policy. Folders 22-29 contain correspondence and notes in connection with the history of the St. Joseph Lead Company. Thompson's correspondents included Clinton H. Crane, Andrew Fletcher, treasurer George I. Brigden, and vice-presidents Irwin H. Cornell and Rene J. Mechin. Registers of the correspondence have been filmed in front of their respective folders.

r60; 24 February 1981; Bonne Terre Memorial Library; loaned for microfilming
r189; 21 July 1983; Bonne Terre Memorial Library; loaned for microfilming



Hill, Commodore Perry, 1901-1983.
Collection, 1885-1982.
101 folders, 3 volumes, and 91 photographs.

These are newspaper clippings, maps, miscellaneous items, and photographs pertaining to lead mining and related railroad development in the Old Lead Belt, principally of St. Francois and Madison counties in southeastern Missouri. The material is arranged in topical and biographical series.

Section I (Folders 1-69): Topical file, 1885-1982.

Newspaper clippings, maps, and miscellaneous notes on mining and mining companies, local history, industrial accidents, railroad development, and county and municipal business. Arranged chronologically under each topic.

Section II (Folders 70-89): Biographical file, 1885-1970.

Newspaper clippings of obituaries, wedding announcements, and biographical notes. Arranged alphabetically. An index of surnames is available.

Section III (Folders 90-101): Pamphlets and printed material, 1920-1982.

Mining equipment parts lists, printed labor agreements, and railroad timetables.

Section IV (Volumes 1-3): Mining company records, 1917-1972.

Missouri Metals Corporation and St. Joe Minerals Corporation.

Section V (Photographs 1-91): Photograph file, ca. 1890-ca. 1940.

Black-and-white photographs, almost all of which appear to be copies of views of mining scenes by Lead Belt photographer Robert Arnoldi. There are also views of a re-enactment of lead smelting at Cresswell's furnace in northern Washington County. Most of the prints have accompanying negatives.

r140; 14 September 1982; Commodore Perry Hill, Jr.; gift
r204; 10 December 1983; Woodrow Hill; gift