William H. H. Dickinson was born in Ohio in 1840, where he received a business education. When he was twenty years old, he went to Kansas, and served in the Third Kansas Infantry (later consolidated with the Fourth Kansas Regiment to become the Tenth Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Infantry) during the Civil War. He emigrated to Montana after 1868, moving to Fort Peck, Fort Benton, and then to the Bitterroot Valley, where he taught school, mined, and took photographs. In 1872 he was appointed postmaster in Missoula, Montana. He continued in that post, was one of the city's first merchants, and served as school clerk and superintendent of schools.
In 1871, Dickinson married Emma C. Slack, who had come to Montana from Baltimore, Maryland, in 1869. They were the first couple married in Missoula. She taught in Missoula's first public school beginning fall of 1869. She was one of the organizers of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Missoula, and remained active in that organization.
The Dickinsons had three children. Mr Dickinson died in 1910; Mrs. Dickinson died in 1927.
The collection contains a Dickinson family genealogy, Mr. Dickinson's Civil War diary, Mrs. Dickinson's reminiscence of early Missoula, an autograph book from Mr. Dickinson's family, personal and business financial records, an assay report, and early photographs of Missoula.The collection offers information on early life in Missoula, including residents, business, education, and the physical appearance of the town.
Restrictions on Access :
Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.Restrictions on Use :
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana.Preferred Citation :
[Name of document or photograph number], William H. H. and Emma Dickinson Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana--Missoula.
Custodial History :
The papers were in the possession of Richard Giffin, the Dickinsons' great-grandson, until time of donation to the Archives.Acquisition Information :
Gift of Richard Giffin, 1969.Processing Note :
The original processer arranged the papers, described them as the W. H. H. Dickinson Papers, and separated photographs to the photograph collection. In 2004, the finding aid was expanded, the collection was re-named the William H. H. and Emma Dickinson Papers, and the photographs were re-integrated into the collection. The 2004 finding aid listed two 1861 diaries - a closer examination of the mateirals in 2007 showed that one of the diaries was actually an autobiographical account based on the 1861 diary. In 2011 the biographical note for William was edited and updated - the original note indicted he'd served in the 8th Infantry when, in fact, he'd served in the 3rd.
Detailed Description of the Collection
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.