Solomon Gilman Comstock Papers (S248)

  • 1872-1998

    Biographical Sketch

    Solomon Gilman Comstock (1842-1933) was a pioneer Moorhead, Minnesota resident when he arrived in the Valley in 1871 at the age of 29. Comstock was a lawyer, businessman and legislature during his life in Moorhead. Comstock was the first County Attorney for Clay county and held similar posts in Pembina and Stutsman Counties in Dakota Territory.

    Politically, Comstock was involved in both state and national politics. He was elected to the state legislature in 1875 and served until 1988. Comstock was also elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1888 and served until 1891, when he was defeated by Kittel Halvorson of the Alliance Party. During different times in his political career, Comstock was mentioned for governor, senator, and state attorney general.

    Comstock was also president of the Northwest land Company from 1883 to 1914. He worked closely with James J. Hill in plotting townships in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.

    Other Valley enterprises which Comstock was involved in were: the Minnesota and Dakota Northern Railroad Company, the First national Bank of Moorhead, the Moorhead Foundry, car and agricultural works, the Bishop Whipple School and the Moorhead Normal School. 

    Collection Description

    This collection consists of the correspondence and business papers of Solomon Comstock, a lawyer in Moorhead, Minnesota and a state legislator, plus miscellaneous materials regarding the Comstock family. Included in the collection are requests for political appointments, especially that of postmaster; information on Minnesota state politics, the Republican party and the Farmers' Alliance in Minnesota, educational problems and institutions, the building of roads and highways, Comstock's work as agent to obtain the right-of-way for the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba railroad, and the indemnity lands of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Also included are congressional bills and other data concerning such topics as: the tariff, railroads, Chippewa Indians and their reservations, Pierre Bottineau's pension, and shipping through the Sault Ste. Marie canal; and clippings and notes about legislative measures. There are also letter books kept by Comstock as a congressman. Box 63 contains slides and photographs, identified and unidentified.

    In addition there are legal papers, and a record of legal cases handled between 1875 and 1882 by Comstock. Also included are letter books and account books of Comstock's real estate business that he had in partnership with Almond A. White, with whom he incorporated the Northwest Land Company in 1883 to locate town sites and sell land in Minnesota and the territories of Dakota and Montana. Other materials pertaining to the real estate business are: contracts, deeds, and mortgage papers, and articles of incorporation, accounts and other papers of the Kalispell, Montana town site company. Located in the map case are some plot maps for towns in Dakota Territory and Minnesota. 

    Inventory

    Box 1

    • Correspondence. October 1872 - October 1876 
        

    Box 2

    • Correspondence. November 1876 - 1877 
        

    Box 3

    • Correspondence. January 1878 - May 1879 
        

    Box 4

    • Correspondence. June 1879 - June 1880 
        

    Box 5

    • Correspondence. July 1880 - February 1882 
        

    Box 6

    • Correspondence. March 1882 - April 1884 
        

    Box 7

    • Correspondence. May 1884 - February 1885 
        

    Box 8

    • Correspondence. March 1885 - February 1886 
        

    Box 9

    • Correspondence. March - December 1886 
        

    Box 10

    • Correspondence. January - June 1887 
        

    Box 11

    • Correspondence. July 1887 - February 1888 
        

    Box 12

    • Correspondence. March - September 1888 
        

    Box 13

    • Correspondence. October 1888 - January 20, 1889
        

    Box 14

    • Correspondence. January 21, 1889 - April 19, 1889 
        

    Box 15

    • Correspondence. April 20 - July 22, 1889 
        

    Box 16

    • Correspondence. July 23 - November 15, 1889 
        

    Box 17

    • Correspondence. November 16, 1889 - January 31, 1890 
        

    Box 18

    • Correspondence. February - March 1890 
        

    Box 19

    • Correspondence. April - June 1890 
        

    Box 20

    • Correspondence. July - December 1890 
        

    Box 21

    • Correspondence. January 1891 - August 1892 
        

    Box 22

    • Correspondence. September 1892 - March 1894 
        

    Box 23

    • Correspondence. April 1894 - July 1895 
        

    Box 24

    • Correspondence. August 1895 - July 1896 
        

    Box 25

    • Correspondence. August 1896 - April 1898
        

    Box 26

    • Correspondence. May 1898 - February 1899
        

    Box 27

    • Correspondence. March - October 1899 
        

    Box 28

    • Correspondence. November 1899 - December 1900 
        

    Box 29

    • Correspondence. January 1901- December 1902 
        

    Box 30

    • Correspondence. January 1903 - August 1905 
        

    Box 31

    • Correspondence. September 1905 - December 1908 
        

    Box 32

    • Correspondence. 1909-1915 
        

    Box 33

    • Correspondence. January 1916-1924 
        

    Box 34

    • Correspondence. 1925-1932 
        

    Box 35

    Box 36

    • Data Regarding Pensions for Soldiers, R-Z
    • Home Building Bills and Receipts. 1882-83
    • Miscellaneous - Papers Added Under Account Numbers 7596 and 8341
    • Printed Materials
    • Personal Bills. 1874-1881
    • Spreadsheet inventory of documents in box 36
        

    Box 37

    • This box number inadvertently skipped in numbering 
        

    Box 38

    • Legal Cases, A-B 
        

    Box 39

    • Legal Cases, C-E
        

    Box 40

    • Legal Cases, F-J 
        

    Box 41

    • Legal Cases, K-M 
        

    Box 42

    • Legal Cases, N-O
        

    Box 43

    • Legal Cases, P-R 
        

    Box 44

    • Legal Cases, S-T 
        

    Box 45

    • Legal Cases
      • United States Indictments B-W
      • United States vs. Henry S. Bark
      • United States vs. John Stiles
      • Va-Von
      • Wa-Wie
      • Wilkens, Lars vs. Jos. Lambert. 1877
      • Will-Z
       
    • Miscellaneous Bills and Notes for Collection. 1872-1881
    • Notes of Cases Involving Liquor
    • Petition Regarding Condemnation of Clay County Lands for Trunk Highway. 1926
    • State of Minnesota Indictments, A-W
        

    Box 46

    • Agreements/Powers of Attorney. 1876-85, 1908
    • Data on Legislative Appointments, Congressional Bills, etc.
    • Insurance Policies. 1878-1892
    • Legislative Bills. 1872-1890, undated
    • Miscellaneous Data on Indian Treaties
    • Miscellaneous Material
    • Notes for Political Campaigns of 1892-1902
    • Pembina County Fair, Land Contracts, Mortgage Deal and Correspondence
    • Plats and Data on Real Estate. 1879-1931, undated
    • Political Material 
        

    Box 47

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Ardock, Bathgate (B-R) 
        

    Box 48

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Bathgate (S-Z), Grafton (A-J) 
        

    Box 49

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Grafton (K-Z), Hamilton (A-L) 
        

    Box 50

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Hamilton (M-Z), Minot (A-B) 
        

    Box 51

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Minot (C-Z), Minto 
        

    Box 52

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: Rolla, Rugby, Rugby Junction 
        

    Box 53

    • Land Contracts, Dakota Territory: St. John, St. Thomas, Towner, Willow City 

     

    Box 54

    • Land Contracts, Minnesota: Comstock, Elmer, Glyndon, Fergus Falls, Sabin, Kent, Moorhead  

    Box 55

    • Deeds. 1872-1905 

    Box 56

    • Certificates of Law and Offices that Comstock Held
    • Land Office Certificates. 1879-1885
    • Leases. 1878-1924
    • Memoranda Regarding Taxes on Land
    • Minnesota and Dakota Northern Railroad Company Papers. 1879-1883
    • Moorhead, McCauleyville, and Breckenridge Railway Company Papers. 1881
    • Mortgage Papers. 1872-1918
    • Papers Regarding - Buisson-Cournoyer-Ortley-Burbank-Berens Land Transactions
    • Land Located with Thos. B. Valentine's Scrip
    • Records of Real Estate Transactions of John Otter and J.S. Wheeler. 1881-1891
    • Sewer Notices and Assessment Lists. 1911-1932

    Box 57

    • Bookwatler vs. Kalispell Townsite Company. 1890-95, undated
    • Kalispell Townsite Company. 1891-1911
    • Northwest Land Company - Certificate of Stock
    • Papers. 1882-1917

    Box 58

    • History of Minnesota and Dakota Railroad Company
    • Red River Manufacturing Company/Minnesota Central Construction Company. 1883
    • St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company Papers. 1877
    • St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway Company Deeds and Papers. 1878-81, undated
    • Volume 15 Miscellaneous Personal Accounts/Record of Promissory Notes. 1873-79
    • Volume 15a Collection Record. 1874-75
    • Volume 39 Record of Lots Owned (Address Book at End of Volume)
    • Volume 40 Record of Lots Owned. Undated
    • Volume 41 Records of Lots Owned by Comstock and White. 1881-90
    • Volume 42 A.A. White Bills Receivable/Payable. 1880-85, 1882-91
    • Volume 43 Northwest Land Company and Comstock and White - Notes and Bills, Payable and Receivable. 1880-86
    • Volume 44 Bills Payable and Receivable, S.G. Comstock. 1882-95
    • Volume 47 Record of Stock Owned in Various Companies. 1891-1915
    • Volume 56 List of People Who Want Political Appointments
    • Volume 57 Scrapbook Regarding Congressional Measures
    • Volume 58 Political Notes. 1888
    • Volume 59 Miscellaneous Notes/Lists of Delegates to Congressional Convention. 1892
    • Volume 60 Clippings of Political Party Platforms. 1896
    • Volume 61 Notes on Tariff and Silver Production. 1896

    Box 59

    • This box consists of House files from the 22nd session of the state of Minnesota. Topics include: railroad legislation, real estate matters, salary requests, school appropriations, and tax vagrancy legislation. All the files are organized by the file number and date. January - February 1881

    Box 60

    • This box contains the Senate files from the 22nd session of the state of Minnesota. Topics include: election procedures, insurance matters, public works, railroad legislation, school appropriations, and school curriculum. All of the files are organized by the file number and date. January -February 1881

    Box 61A

    • Newspaper Clippings. 1876-1941

    Box 61B

    • Newspaper Clippings Summarizing 1897-1905

    Box 62

    • Matter and Material Collected by Gregory Harness in Writing Thesis. 1975

    Box 63

    • Correspondence
      • Jessie Comstock. 1897-1921, 1925, undated
      • Miscellaneous. Not signed, undated
      • Sarah Comstock. 1932-33, 1935, undated
       
    • George Comstock, Essays and Poems. Undated
    • Memorabilia/Photographs. 1869, 1897-1910, undated
    • Poems Collected by and Written by Jessie Comstock. ca. 1900-36, undated
    • Slides
      • 1-4: Comstock House
      • 5: Unidentified
      • 6: Eight Street
      • 7: Mr. & Mrs. Comstock, Will Mackall, Mrs. Price
      • 8: Ada Comstock (center) and Mackall. 1897
      • 9: Unidentified
      • 10: Jessie Comstock, Ada Comstock, Mr. Comstock, Miss Donaldson, Mrs. Mackall
      • 11: (Top) C.P. Jones, Kusta, Wm. Nesheim, E. Donaldson, Thomson, J.C. Booth (Bottom) J.E. Cambell, A.E., Dilling, Miss Cambel, Miss Williamson, Mrs. Margaret Jones. ca. 1900 at Pelican Lake
      • Jessie and Ada Comstock in Front
       

    Box 64

    • Agricultural Related. 1939, 1955
    • Bonds and Securities: McKenzie, Clay and Swift County Bonds/Great Northern Railway. 1933-54
    • Business Records and Correspondence Concerning Land Adjoining the Village of Lone Tree. 1930-37
    • Charitable Contributions. 1941-42, 1954
    • Comstock Realty Company
      • Business Correspondence, Leases, and Contracts, Jewel Tea Company. 1941-57
      • Business Records and Correspondence Concerning Hillsboro. 1936-54
      • Business Records and Correspondence Concerning Rolla. 1935-52
      • Business with Attorneys Sharp and Saetre. 1942-58
      • Clay County Abstract Company Receipts. 1938-53
      • Correspondence. 1935-52
      • Correspondence and Contracts for Moorhead, Minnesota. 1938-39, 1955-56
      • Correspondence, Lease Agreements for Moorhead, Minnesota Farms (M.F. Williams, Fred Meyers, Paul Horn). 1938-55
      • Correspondence, Lease, and Reports with Ralph Diehl, Farmer near Hillsboro. 1937-54
      • Correspondence, Mortgage Settlement, Mary Peterson Property. 1941-44
      • Expenses. 1938-39
      • Leases, Farm Business, Lauritz Melby, Wild Rice. 1938-53
      • U.S. Department of Agriculture Producers Note and Loan Agreements, Planting Plan,
       
    • George Comstock
      • "A Biographical Sketch of George Madison Comstock," by Lois Selberg. 2002
      • Business Record and Correspondence (O.L. Olson Agent) Concerning Farm Property in Wilken County, Minnesota. 1934-58
      • Business Records and Correspondence Concerning Missoula, Montana Land. 1933-1939
      • Correspondence
        • Chairman of the Draft Board. 1940-44
        • Insurance Related. 1947-56
        • Minnesota State College Board. 1943-53
        • Miscellaneous. 1935-58
        • Organizational Records and Harvard Club of North Dakota. 1953-54
        • Pure Oil Company. 1945-47
         
      • Material from Dr. Dille's Files
      • Watson Real Estate Company. 1957
       
    • Jessie and George Comstock Business Records and Correspondence Concerning Liberty Count Texas Land. 1934-35
    • Lake of the Woods Appraised U.S. Government Vouchers and Correspondence. 1934
    • S.G. Comstock Business Records and Correspondence
      • Liberty County, Texas Land. 1917-33
      • Missoula, Montana Land. 1891-1932
       
    • Susan Comstock Clemedtson
    • Swen Henning Clemedtson Bond. 1948

    Box 65

    • Ada Comstock
      • "From Western Prairies to Eastern Commons: A Life in Education, Ada Louise Comstock Notestein, 1876-1973," by Barbara Miller Solomon
      • "A Place for Women" by Time Brady. January-February 2006
      • Materials from Dr. Roland Dille
      • Miscellaneous
       
    • Miscellaneous - Sympathy Letters, Newspaper Clippings, Correspondence, Funeral Preparations
    • Solomon Comstock
      • "The Life of Solomon G. Comstock" by Greg Harness
      • "Solomon G. Comstock" by Corrine Lemke. 1987
      • "Solomon G. Comstock: Contributions to the City of Moorhead, Minnesota" by Bob Courtney
      • "Solomon G. Comstock: Historical Notes Extracted from Early Moorhead, Minnesota Newspapers" edited by Corinne Lemke
      • "Solomon Gilman Comstock: Portrait of a Pioneer"
      • "Solomon G. Comstock and the Settlement of the Upper Midwest" by Brian Fors
       

    Box 66

    • Fargo Forum, Diamond Jubilee Edition. June 4, 1950

    Box 67

    • Volume 1 Letter Book, Comstock & White. October. 28, 1881- April 30, 1883
    • Volume 2 Letter Book, A.A. White. 1882 - January 1889
    • Volume 3 Letter Book, Comstock & White, later Northwest Land Company. May 2, 1883-September 27, 1884
    • Volume 4 Letter Book, Northwest Land Company. October1, 1884 - October 27, 1891
    • Volume 5-8 Letter Book, Comstock - Personal. December 3, 1889 - September 1, 1890

    Box 68

    • Volume 9 Letter book, Comstock & White. September 2 - December 2, 1890
    • Volume 10 Record of Legal Cases. 1875-1882
    • Volume 11 Forms of Indictment
    • Volume 12 Commentaries on Laws
    • Volume 13 Account Books of Payments for Legal Cases, Comstock & Roberts. 1882-1875
    • Volume 14 Miscellaneous Cash Book for Legal Cases. 1875-1878
    • Volume 15 Miscellaneous Personal Accounts/Record of Promissory Notes. 1873-1879
    • Volume 16 Collection Register. 1878-1881
    • Volume 17 Journal, Legal and Personal. 1877-1905
    • Volume 18-19 Day Book, Real Estate. 1880-1883
    • Volume 20 Ledger Showing Payments for Real Estate. 1880-1881
    • Volume 21a Real Estate Record book. 1885-1891

    Box 69

    • Volume 21 Real Estate Record Book. March 10 - August 1882
    • Volume 29 Cash Book for Real Estate Transactions, Comstock & White. 1884 - 1885
    • Volume 34 Northwest Land Company, Stubs and Certificates of Shares. 1883-1893

    Box 70

    • Volume 66 Comstock Genealogy
    • Volume 67 Business Ledger
    • Volume 68 Cash Book. 1916-1930
    • Volume 69 Day Book Financial, 1871-1923
    • Volume 72 Farm Contract Ledger
    • Volume 73 Expenditures. 1922-1932

    Box 71

    • Volume 22 Journal, Cash and Expenses. March - August 1882
    • Volume 24 Real Estate Ledger. March 1882 - July 1883
    • Volume 26 Journal of Transactions for Grandin, North Dakota. 1881-1883
    • Volume 27 Fisher Townsite Company Ledger. 1882-1892
    • Volume 45 Check Stubs. August 1890 - February 1892
    • Volume 48 Minutes of Meetings of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota and Dakota Northern Railroad Company and the Articles of Incorporation. 1882-1883
    • Volume 49 List of Machinery and Fixtures for some Manufacturing Plant; Articles of Incorporation of Moorhead Foundry; Car and Agricultural Works Attached Flyleaf by MSS Division
    • Volume 50 Day Book. March - September 1882
    • Volume 51 Time Book (badly mildewed). March - August 1882
    • Volume 52 Time Book (partly stuck together). May - December 1882
    • Volume 54 List of Counties and Towns, and Names of Persons (list of applicants)
    • Volume 55 Record of People Who Want Political Appointments. 1888-

    Box 72

    • Volume 30 Cash Book, Comstock & White. June 1886 - October 8, 1899
    • Volume 31 Day Book, Comstock & White. August 1886 - November 1893
    • Volume 32 Cash Book, Rents, Bills Receivable, etc. 1892-1893
    • Volume 33 Northwest Land Company, Articles of Incorporation; Meetings of the Board of Directors, November 1883; Schedule of Property; Minutes of Stockholders' Annual Meetings, 1884-1893
    • Volume 35 Journal, Northwest Land Company. July 1886 - 1893
    • Volume 35a Journal, Northwest Land Company. January 27, 1881 - December 1, 1887
    • Volume 36 Land Record, Notations of Deeds for Land, Mainly in Dakota. 1880-1890
    • Volume 37 Tax List of Contracted Lots. 1881-1887

    Box 73

    • Volume 62 Cash Book, S.G. Comstock. 1884-1901
    • Volume 63 Tax Record, S.G. Comstock. 1884-1925
    • Volume 64 Ledger, S.G. Comstock. 1893-1914
    • Volume 65 Ledger, S.G. Comstock. 1895-1934

    Map Case

    • Dakota Territory/Town Plots. Undated
    • George Comstock Certificates
    • Minnesota Town Plots, Broadsides, Flyers, and a Petition to Name the Becker Count Seat from Detroit, Minnesota to Audubon, Minnesota. 1873-1904
    • Railroad Right-of-Way Maps (St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba; Great Northern). 1899