Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Lavinia Butler Letters, 1896-1903

Finding aid created by
Mary Parsons, February 2011, and Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: Lavinia Butler letters
Creator: Butler, Lavinia, 1833-1911
Inclusive dates: 1896-1903
Bulk dates: 1896-1899
Extent: 10 items
Abstract:
This collection contains ten letters written to Lavinia Butler in Woonsocket, South Dakota, and Sanford, Maine, during the 1890s and early 1900s. Her nephew, Nathaniel Butler, wrote nine letters, and a friend, Linda Beacham, wrote one letter. Nathaniel Butler described his life as a cattle rancher near Midland, South Dakota, paying particular attention to the hard winters and their effects on his animals and neighbors.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2009. M-4771.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Lavinia Butler letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

Lavinia Butler was born on August 8, 1833, in Sanford, Maine. She did factory work in Maine but later left home for South Dakota, where her nephew, Nathaniel Butler, had settled in 1882. Lavinia lived in Woonsocket, South Dakota, until returning to Maine around 1903. She died on December 19, 1911. Nathaniel remained in South Dakota for several years and worked as a rancher in Midland and in Ottumwa before moving to New York around 1917. He and his wife, Stella Haidvogel, had several children.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains ten letters written to Lavinia Butler in Woonsocket, South Dakota, and Sanford, Maine, during the 1890s and early 1900s. Her nephew, Nathaniel Butler, wrote nine letters, and a friend, Linda Beacham, wrote one letter. Nathaniel Butler described his life as a cattle rancher near Midland, South Dakota, paying particular attention to the hard winters and their effects on his animals and neighbors.

In two letters (December 19, 1896 and February 19, 1897), Butler mentioned Mr. Lewis, a nearby rancher who had disappeared while driving sheep during a severe storm. His other letters concern his efforts to raise cattle and turn a profit as a rancher. Linda Beacham, a friend of Lavinia's, wrote the final letter about mutual acquaintances in Stanford, Maine. She also inquired about Lavinia's plans to return to Maine.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Cattle.
    • Frontier and pioneer life--South Dakota.
    • Ranchers.
    • South Dakota--History.
    • Winter storms.
    Contributors:
    • Beacham, Linda.
    • Butler, Nathaniel, b. 1859.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   7, Small Collections  
    Lavinia Butler letters [series]:
    Folders   21-23  
      September 7, 1896-May 31, 1903
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    Emery, Edwin. The History of Sanford, Maine, 1661-1900. Fall River, Mass.: 1901.