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Manuscript Group 393

William A. Olson, 1911-1985

Papers, 1964-1978
6.5 cubic feet


The papers of the William A. Olson were donated to the University of Idaho Library by his son William T. Olson in June 1996. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in February 1998.

Biography

William A. Olson was born June 16, 1911, at Breckenridge, Minnesota, the son of Carl Henning and Laura Enderson Olson. As a young man he moved with his family to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He attended the University of Idaho, graduating with a B.S. degree in business with a major in accounting in 1939. He served as secretary of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, and in 1941 he became the first full time alumni secretary of the University of Idaho.

He married Julia Hunter on August 28, 1937, at Coeur d'Alene. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Air Corps and was stationed at the Salt Lake City Air Base, and later served in the South Pacific. In 1946, following his military service, he moved to Pocatello where he worked for M.T. Deaton Co. as an accountant for two years. In 1948 he opened his own public accounting firm in Boise where he continued until his retirement in January of 1979.

He was past president of the Idaho Society of Certified Public Accountants, a member of the Elks Club, and a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He was also an avid collector of Idaho history. He died in Boise on October 18, 1985.

Scope And Content

Although the photocopies in this collection include material from as early as the 1860s the correspondence related to the collecting of the material spans the years 1964 to 1978.

Included in the records are photocopies of historical records, handwritten and typed transcripts of published material, maps, newspaper clippings, photographs, and correspondence concerning Idaho history. Also included are several sets of bibliography and note cards.

Arrangement and Description

Some of the material in this record group was in unlabeled or poorly labeled three ring binders, and other material was in well-labeled folders. Since there appeared to be no order to the received arrangement, a series order based on format was imposed during processing.

The first series contains the material which was removed from the three-ring binders. Since most of the binders were not labeled or had one or two word labels, these were given broad subject headings, e.g. Indians, Nez Perce; Mining; Florence, Idaho; then alphabetized using the name, if any on the binder, followed by a brief description of the type of material (handwritten notes, photocopies, etc.). If there was no title on the binder only a description of the type of material was used.

The second series contains the material which was in labeled folders; it is divided into two subseries, letter size and legal size. These are also arranged alphabetically by folder heading, with an occasional description of contents. This series contains correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, about Olson's collecting activities as well as photocopies, handwritten excerpts from published sources, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Olson's bibliography and note cards are in series three. These are on 5x8 pieces of paper and are arranged alphabetically or, as in the case of the Nez Perce war of 1877, chronologically.

Material in three ring binders was removed from the binders and placed in acid-neutral folders. Duplicate photocopies were discarded, as were carbon copies of the handwritten notes. Also discarded were the handwritten drafts of letters when the carbon-typed copy was present. USGS maps not in individual folders were sent to the gifts librarian for evaluation as possible additions to the University Library's map collection. This reduced the records by 2.5 cubic feet.

Series List

I. Notebooks	1-3
II. Folders	4-6
	A. Letter size
	B. Legal size

III. Note cards	7-8

Inventory

William A. Olson

Box Folder Description Items

I. Notebooks

1	1-3	Books: Dealers and prices	224
	4	Books: Titles of books on northwest history, possibly owned by Olson	15
	5	Correspondence: A-Z, 1964-1965	89
	6	Correspondence: McDermott, John D., 1966-1967 (material on Nez Perce)	13
	7	Florence, Idaho. Docket book of Jaspar Rand, Justice of the Peace, 1862-1876 (typescript)	1
	8	History: McDonald, Duncan, biographical sketch, handwritten	1
	9	History: Rutledge, Louise. D. Boon, 1776, a western bicentennial mystery, 1975	1
	10	History, Salmon River: Excerpts from journals of M. Lewis and Sergeant John Ordway with miscellaneous notes, handwritten & typed	4
	11	History, Winter Travel: Tracy & Co.'s express, 1862. Typescript of story of men frozen to death in two parts, Cast & story, both handwritten	3
	12	Idaho History: Benedict O. Kelly. Handwritten story, photocopies and typescript of sources. Photo of Geo. Cartwright family	2
	13-16	Idaho History: Excerpts, typed and handwritten, from published sources, A-Z	1
	17	Idaho History: Idaho in 1860 (handwritten)	1
	18	Indians, Big Foot: Johnson, Carolyn. He chose a life of revenge, 1966 (carbon typescript)	1
	19	Indians, Big Foot: Photocopies of articles, 1878-1963	20
	20-21	Indians, Nez Perce: Brice, Patrick. Narrative, 1877. Typescript & handwritten copy with notes.	10
	22	Indians, Nez Perce: Lott, Sam & Peo Peo Tah Likt. Historical sketches of the Nez Perce, 1935 (photocopy of typescript)	1
	23	Indians, Nez Perce: McDonald, Duncan. Articles appearing in New North West, 1878 (typescript)	2
	24	Indians, Nez Perce: The Nez Perces. Photocopy from The North American Indian, by Edward Curtis, v.8, 1911	1
	25-26	Indians, Nez Perce: Reuben's Roster. Names of Nez Perce killed by soldiers in various battles (typed)	241
	27	Indians, Nez Perce: Williams, Jonathon (Billy) (Typed notes on Williams, his maps and place names)	4
	28	Indians, Nez Perce, War: Article on Chief Joseph, Hand drawn maps of White Bird area, typescript article: The Battle of White Bird	4
	29-30	Indians, Nez Perce, War: Court of Inquiry: typescripts and photocopies arranged by subject	18
2	31	Indians, Nez Perce, War: Howard, O.O., Reports, 1877. (Photocopies from microfilm)	2
	32-33	Indians, Nez Perce, War: Indian order of battle, 1977 (Alphabetical list of Nez Perce involved)	118
	34-39	Indians, Nez Perce, War: Names and places, A-Z	376
	40-41	Indians, Nez Perce, War: New North West, 1877-1878 (Photostats of newspaper articles	1
	42-43	Indians, Nez Perce, War: War chronology, by date and place	190
	44-46	Indians, Nez Perce, War: War Department files, 1877 (Photocopy from microfilm)	159
	47	Indians, Snake River, Massacre: Book. Geary, Edward R. Depredations and massacre by the Snake River Indians. Ye Galleon Press, 1966	1
	48-49	Indians, Snake River, Massacre: Otter (Elija?) Photocopies, typescripts, and handwritten notes, 1860	36
3	50	Lewis & Clark: Excerpts from journals, 1805 (handwritten)	5
	51	Lewis & Clark: Selections from the journals, 1804-1805 (handwritten and typed)	20
	52	Mining: Boise Basin. (typed excerpts from various sources)	4
	53	Mining: Healy. (Typed excerpts from journal and handwritten notes and lists of names)	15
	54	Mining: Healy, John J. Frontier sketches (Ft. Benton, Montana Record) 1878. (typescript)	3
	55	Mining, Florence, Idaho: Babboon (Handwritten notes on mining claims in Babboon Gulch and its tributaries.	3
	56-57	Mining, Florence, Idaho: Claims, ca.1861-1889 (Typed list)	5
	58	Mining, Florence, Idaho: List of names from James Hawley's History of Idaho	2
	59	Mining, Florence, Idaho: Scott. (Handwritten notes of Sylvester Scott and his family)	9
	60-63	Mining, Newspaper excerpts, (arranged by newspaper)	182
	64	Mining, Newspaper: Washington Statesman (Walla Walla), 1861-1865 (typescript)	3
	65	Mining & Indians: Alphabetical list of names & places, n.d. (handwritten)	77
	66	Miscellaneous: Workbook; Checklists; Teller-Lewiston; Idaho City papers; History - income tax; Lapwai Agency letters	94

II. Folders

A. Letter size

	67	Babboon	2
	68	Bannock War of 1878, 1969	2
	69	Bemis, Polly, 1923-1971	2
	70	Berg, August, 1969 (inc. photograph)	10
	71	Boise Basin	3
	72	Boise County. 12 Jan. 1863. Washington Territorial Legislature	2
	73	Correspondence, 1968-1976	35
	74	Aoki, Prof. Haruo, Univ. of California, 1967-1969	14
	75	Battle of White Bird Canyon Forlorn Hope (John D. McDermott), 1966-1968	10
	76	Book orders, 1967-1978	37
	77	California Historical Society, 1978	1
	78	Chapman, John S. & Thomas McGrath, jr. 1974	1
	79	Custer's Last Stand as told by John Frederic, 1971	2
	80	Idaho, University of, 1965-1971	8
	81	Idaho State University, 1964-1968	18
	82	Montana, University of, 1969	4
	83	Montana Historical society, 1967-1970	7
	84	National Archives, 1967-1971	12
	85	Olson, Wm. A., Idaho history, 1965-1976	66
	86	Otter party, 1868-1970	13
	87	Overland, Helen Howard, 1966-1982	9
	88	Peo Peo Hi Hi (White Bird), 1969-1970 (inc. photograph)	29
	89	Smith, Neil B. and Opal, 1966-1968	9
	90	Smithsonian Institution, 1966-1974	11
	91	Standifer, J.J., 1970	7
	92	Talbotte, H.J., 1971	1
	93	Taylor, Quintard, 1975	3
	94	Washington State University, 1964-1972	24
	95	Yale University Press, 1969-1974	3
	96	Craig, William	2
	97	Crooks, Jacob	2
	98	Cynthia (Ann Ewing)	8
4	99	DeVeny, Betty. History of John Day drainage, ca.1971	2
	100	Devine, Richard, 1967	1
	101	Fenn-Kooskia Mountaineer, 1921 (photocopies from Early Idaho History series)	8
	102	Fisher, Don C. The Nez Perce War, 1925 (U of I thesis)	1
	103	Florence. Handwritten notes	2
	104	Florence (includes photographs)	7
	105	Florence, Idaho. Newspaper clippings	3
	106	Florence, Claims, 1861-1870	1
	107	Florence, Claims: Millers Creek	4
	108	Florence, Plat maps (hand drawn), ca.1962	7
	109	Frederic, John W.H., 1971	2
	110	Gill, Clark, 1964	3
	111	Golden Age, 1862 (reproduction)	1
	112	Hanson & Erickson - War photos (Nez Perce War 1877)	29
	113	Healy Creek, n.d. (hand drawn map)	1
	114	Helm, Boone	3
	115	Jagger party - Scott (handwritten and photostat copies)	2
	116	Kirkwood, Charlotte. The Nez Perce War, n.d. (photocopy of published work [195-?]	1
	117	Leland, Alonzo, 1973	1
	118	Lewis, (Cougar) Dave, paper by Neil Williams, 1975	3
	119	Long - Swarts, 1968	4
	120	Manuel, Popham (handwritten notes, article) ca.1972	42
	121	Map: Battle of White Bird, USGS, 1963	1
	122	Boise, USGS, 1962	1
	123	Burgdorff, USGS, 1956	1
	124	Camas Prairie, White Bird, Salmon, 1869-1904	5
	125	Coeur d'Alene Region, 1917-1918	5
	126	Elk City, USGS, 1963	1
	127	Fletcher. Nez Perce War, 1878, Symons, Department of the Columbia, 1892, Reproduction	1
	128	Florence, 1808-1912 (copies); USGS 1963	4
	129	Grangeville, USGS, 1963	2
	130	Idaho. Salmon City-Florence railroad ca.1877 (photocopy)	1
5	131	Lewis & Clark (includes post cards), 1945-1966	6
	132	McKenzie Creek, USGS, 1963	1
	133	Nez Perce National Forest, USDA, 1959	1
	134	Oreana, USGS, 1949	1
	135	Oregon, Washington, Idaho, 1878 (reproduction)	1
	136	Steen, (Maj. E.) route against Snake Indians, Walla Walla - Boise 1860 (photocopy)	1
	137	Membership cards, 1967-1968	4
	138	Nez Perce, War of 1877, newspaper clippings, 1957-1958	26
	139	Norton - Chamberlain	3
	140	Oliphant, Judge E. P., 1920	1
	141	The Oregon Trail, 1974	1
	142	Osborn - Mason	1
	143	Otter party	37
	144	Owen, John, notes from his journal	1
	145	Petition - Salmon River, 1877 (photostat and typescript)	2
	146	Photographs, Idaho County, 1922-1967	58
	147	Pierce, E.D.	5
	148	Rawn, Capt. Chas. C. (handwritten transcripts of letters, 1877)	6
	149	Robbers Gulch	1
	150	Salmon River - First ones (photocopies)	9
	151	Seibert, John A	1
	152	Seven Devils mines, by Winifred Lindsay	1
	153	Slate Creek Boot Hill	23
	154	Space, Ralph. Lewis and Clark through Idaho, [1964?]	1
	155	Sandifer, J.J. (photocopies of articles)	17
	156	Swarts, Theodore	5
	157	Thunder Mountain Story [1963?]	1
	158	Unfoldered notes, articles and photocopies, ca.1974	42
	159	Walla Walla, 1876 (copy of lithograph)	1
	160	Ward massacre (1854)	1
	161 	Weiser, Jacob	2
	162	Weiser, Peter	16
	163	White Bird Hill archaeology, 1964	1
	164	Wire Bridge	5

B. Legal size

6	165	Bledsoe, Matt	26
	166	Correspondence: Florence, Idaho, 1970-1972	18
	167	F-1 (photocopies from microfilm, handwritten notes, newspaper clippings)	43
	168	Florence library (photocopies of account book and rental library record, 1862-1863	1
	169	Howard, O.O. Nez Perce Joseph, 1881 (photocopy of typescript)	1
	170	Keating, John J. Correspondence & clippings, 1966-1974	14
	171	Land sales, 1860s	2
	172	Reddington, J.W. Scouting in Montana (copy of typescript)	1
	173	Redfield, Frank. Autobiography, n.d. (Photocopy of typescript)	1
	174	Scott family (photocopies of legal documents), 1891-1944	5
	175	Teller Extras, 1877 (photocopies of newspapers)	20
	176	White Bird (Nez Perce Indian)	5
	177-178	Miscellaneous to be filed	148

III. Note cards

7	179	5x8 bibliography cards A-Z	1900
8	180	Fur trade - Astorians, 5x8 note cards	700
	181	Nez Perce War, 1877, 5x8 note cards, chronological and alphabetical	350


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