Guide to the EARLE AND SARA WRIGHT STRAIN FAMILY PAPERS
1889-1953

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Strain, Earle, 1866-1953
Title: EARLE AND SARA WRIGHT STRAIN FAMILY PAPERS
Dates: 1889-1953 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.2 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number: MC 249
Summary: Earle Strain was a Great Falls, Montana, physician and one of the discoverers of the cause of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Papers consist of genealogical and biographical information; correspondence (1895-1946) of Strain and his wife Sara; a diary by Sara Wright Strain kept while they were in Europe; household financial records; memorabilia; and clippings.
Repository: Montana Historical Society Archives

225 N. Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT 59620-1201
(406) 444-4774
mhslibrary@mt.gov

Languages: English 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Earle Strain was born in Flesherton, Ontario, May 24, 1866, the third of eleven children of William and Eliza Jane (Bell) Strain. Earle began the study of medicine at the University of Toronto, but in 1888 transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation in 1890, he established a practice in Minot, North Dakota. In January 1895 Strain and his wife travelled to Europe where he studied medicine in Berlin and Vienna. The couple also travelled widely, and took advantage of the cultural opportunities of Europe. In 1896, following his return from Europe, Strain accepted an appointment as company physician for the Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company in Great Falls. He later established a private practice there. In 1901, in cooperation with Dr. A.F. Longeway, Dr. Strain began a study of Rocky Mountain spotted fever which led to the recognition that the disease was carried by the wood tick. Dr. Strain was active in the Montana State Medical Association and numerous other professional associations, as well as the Round Table Club, and the Masons. Sara Eliza Wright was born in Flesherton, Ontario, November 22, 1868, the fourth of five children of Thorpe E. and Eliza (James) Wright. She attended the University of Toronto. During her residence in Great Falls she was active in the Methodist Church and in the Travel Club. Dr. Earle Strain and Sara Eliza Wright were married December 11, 1894, in Flesherton, Ontario. Sara died October 1, 1943. Earle died June 1, 1953.

Content Description

Papers. 1889-1953. 1.2 linear feet. Papers consist of incoming correspondence (1889-1918) from Jerome Billiet, a Belgian war orphan and others; general correspondence (1896-1953); outgoing correspondence (1895-1896) from Sara Wright Strain in Berlin, Vienna, and London to relatives in the United States and Canada; household and medical practice financial records (1896-1904); photographs and postcards (1895-1896) from Europe; printed material (1895-1896) consisting primarily of souvenirs from Europe; subject files on Rocky Mountain spotted fever and on the Round Table Club of Great Falls; miscellany (including articles by others on medicine and science, school materials, membership cards, certificates)

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

by series

Acquisition Information :  Acquisition Information:

available upon request


Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection

Biographical Material
Container(s)
Description
Box/Folder
1 / 1 Genealogical and biographical information on Strain and Wright families
1 / 2 Miscellaneous (includes obituaries, forms for published biographical dictionaries) 1930-1953

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Incoming Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 3 Jerome Billiet, Belgian godchild (includes letters from "Pour les Enfants" a relief agency for Belgian war orphans) 1917-1918
1 / 4 L. Schmidt Deserieux [in French] 1895-1896
1 / 5 Hattie and Sallie Taylor 1889-1892

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General Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 6 Miscellaneous 1896-1953

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Outgoing Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 7 Sara Wright Strain [in Berlin] to family members in Canada and United States [restricted: fragile, use transcripts in folder 10] Jan.-Nov. 1895
1 / 8 Sara Wright Strain [in Vienna] to family members in Canada and United States [restricted: fragile, use transcripts in folder 11] Nov. 1895- Apr. 1896
1 / 9 Sara Wright Strain [in London] to family members in Canada and United States [restricted: fragile, use transcripts in folder 12] Apr.-July 1896
1 / 10 Sara Wright Strain [in Berlin] to family members in Canada and United States [typescripts] Jan.-Nov. 1895
1 / 11 Sara Wright Strain [in Vienna] to family members in Canada and United States [typescripts] Nov. 1895- Apr. 1896
1 / 12 Sara Wright Strain [in London] to family members in Canada and United States [typescripts] Apr.-July 1896

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Diaries
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 13 Sara Wright Strain diary on travel to England, France, and Germany [also used by Earle Strain for medical lecture notes] Jan.-Aug. 1895

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Financial Records
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 14 Business licenses: Great Falls and Cascade County 1897-1903
1 / 15 Invoices and receipts: furniture 1897-1901
1 / 16 Invoices and receipts: house repairs at 317 1st Avenue North, Great Falls 1900-1903
1 / 17 Invoices and receipts: household expenses 1896-1904
1 / 18 Invoices and receipts: medical and scientific books 1899-1902
1 / 19 Invoices and receipts: medical instruments 1899-1903
1 / 20 Invoices and receipts: newspaper and city directory advertisements 1900-1903
1 / 21 Invoices and receipts: optical supplies 1900-1904
1 / 22 Invoices and receipts: rent payments to Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company for house on Smelter Hill 1899-1901
1 / 23 Invoices and receipts: telephone 1900-1903
1 / 24 Invoices and receipts: utilities 1900-1904
1 / 25 Property taxes 1900

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Maps
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
4 / 1 "Map of a portion of Western Montana showing area infected by Spotted Fever," by Finkelnburg and Catlin [oversize] n.d.

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Photographs
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
2 / 1 Postcards and photographs: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France 1895-1896

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Printed Material
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
2 / 2 German and French language books ca. 1895
2 / 3 Methodist hymn book 1884
2 / 4 Opera programs and librettos 1895-1896
2 / 5 Souvenir travel books 1895-1896

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Subject Files
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
2 / 6 Rocky Mountain spotted fever n.d.
2 / 7 Round Table Club, Great Falls: history of the Club 1916-1936
2 / 8 Round Table Club, Great Falls: discussion papers on religion and philosophy 1922, 1928 n.d.

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Miscellany
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
2 / 9 Articles on gland disease 1935-1936 n.d.
2 / 10 Articles on physicians and scientists (includes Walter Reed, Theodore Billroth, George Miller Sternberg, William Henry Welch, Ivan Pavlov)
2 / 11 Articles on science and medicine
3 / 1 Calling cards, invitations 1895-1896, n.d.
3 / 2 Certificates: Montana and North Dakota medical licenses, declaration of intent, citizenship, marriage, Orden der Hermanns-Soehne membership, War Dept. Medical Advisory Board, Masonic Lodge, et al. 1891-1944
4 / 2 Certificates: Washington (State) medical license, Masonic membership, academic certificates, Veterans Association of Great Northern Railway [oversize] 1890-1936
3 / 3 Course notes 1890s
4 / 3 Course notes: charts on diseases [oversize] n.d.
3 / 4 Membership cards and receipts 1900-1953
3 / 5 Notebooks on German grammar, addresses, itinerary 1895
3 / 6 Poem (toast to a bride) [in German] ca. 1895
3 / 7 Railroad schedules and rates 1906-1910
3 / 8 University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Medicine school records and memorabilia 1887-1904
3 / 9 University of Toronto School of Medicine school records and memorabilia 1886-1888
3 / 10 Miscellaneous (includes medical course tickets, post office information, advertisements, etc.) [in German] 1895-1896

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Clippings
Container(s)
Description
Box/Folder
3 / 11 Great Falls (Mont.) and Minot (N.D.) history

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Transfers
Container(s)
Description
Box/Folder
3 / 12 List of printed material transferred to Library
3 / 13 List of artifacts transferred to Museum

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Subjects

  • BELGIUM
  • PHYSICIANS
  • AUSTRIA--DESCRIPTION AND TRAVEL
  • GERMANY--DESCRIPTION AND TRAVEL

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