W.H. Barten, 1870-1938 [RG3883.AM]

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID



RG3883.AM:  W.H. Barten, 1870-1938



Papers:  1904-1924

Gordon, Sheridan County, Neb.:  Trader and Wild West Show contractor

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box



BACKGROUND NOTE



W.H. Barten was born in North Boston, Erie County, New York, on March 31, 1870. He received his early education in North Boston, and attended Hamburg (N.Y.) Academy. Around 1888, Barten enrolled in the State Normal School in Fredonia, N.Y., where he took a teaching course. Following his graduation, Barten began the study of law at Columbia University, but left the university in 1891 to enter the Indian Service as a teacher on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.



On March 31, 1894, Barten was married to Miss Angelique Cordier at Pine Ridge. To this union were born two children, Edison and Winona. Barten and his wife ran the Indian school at the reservation until 1902 when the family moved to Gordon, Nebraska, where Barten opened a mercantile store. In addition to his mercantile business, Barten was actively engaged in outfitting reservation Indians for movies, rodeos, and Wild West shows. Barten was also active in civic affairs, serving on the Gordon city council in 1931 and 1932, and serving as mayor of Gordon from 1934 to 1936.



Barten died at his home in Gordon on May 8, 1938.



SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE



This collection consists of ten folders of manuscript material arranged in four series: 1) Correspondence, 1905-1924, n.d.; 2) Financial Records, 1904-1914, n.d.; 3) Printed Matter; 4) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence and financial records relating to Barten’s activities as a Wild West show contractor for the Pine Ridge Indians. Of interest is the account books kept by Barten showing charges of individual items sold to Indians. Correspondents include: 101 Ranch, Miller Brothers Wild West Show, Bliss, Oklahoma.



Note: There are two photos relating to W.H. Barten in the Lakota Indians photo collection [RG2063.PH]. Various Native American artifacts collected by W.H. Barten are in the collections of the Nebraska History Museum. Not all artifacts are on display. Interested researchers should contact the Museum Collections department for more information. For additional information about W.H. Barten, see the Nebraska History article written by Barten’s daughter, Lucile Barten Davison [Nebraska History, vol. 19, 1938, pp. 369-370].



DESCRIPTION



Series 1 – Correspondence, 1905-1924, n.d.


Box 1

Folder

    1. 1907

    1. 1908

    1. 1909

    1. 1910-1911

    1. 1912, 1913, 1914

    1. 1920, 1923, 1924, n.d.



Series 2 – Financial Records, 1904-1914, n.d.




    1. Receipts, bills and ledgers involving Indian accounts at Gordon stores.

    1. Contracts showing names of Indians, weekly salary, amount due Barten each week etc.



Series 3 – Printed Matter




    1. Printed materials, including:

      The Pressing Needs of the Warner Ranch and other Mission Indians in Southern California, 1901

      The Urgent Case of the Mille Lac Indians, S.M. Brosius, 1901

      Indian Warship, Charles E. Pancoast, 1901

      Obituary of W.H. Barten



Series 4 – Miscellany




    1. Includes route lists for Wild West shows



 


ADDED ENTRIES:

Barten, W.H., 1870-1938

Indians of North America — Reservations

Wild West Shows



 



JEP/ht   10-10-1972

nd   06-13-1997

KFK/dco   09-18-2003

01-28-2010   Revised TMM

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Nebraska airmail in the 1920s

Nebraska airmail in the 1920s

Lincoln’s Final Decree

Lincoln’s Final Decree

Throwback Thursday Photo, North Side Community Center

Throwback Thursday Photo, North Side Community Center

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.