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.
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.