Milliken & McGuire
Archive of Business Correspondence, Documents, Papers and Ephemera of Milliken and McGuire, Timber Merchants and Timber Land Brokers, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1900-1914

The archive consists of the following: 98 letters, 146 pp., dated 18 June 1900 to 30 Oct 1929, with bulk being from 1900-1914; contains mainly incoming business letters to the firm of Milliken & McGuire, with several outgoing retained copies of letters, or miscellaneous letters sent with an incoming, or outgoing letter; with over 415 pieces of related ephemeral materials, as follows: Approximately 160 legal documents and papers related to land, and or land companies, including abstracts of titles, affidavits, agreements, trust agreements, amendments to articles of incorporation, by-laws of companies, homestead receipts, indentures, land patents, land register certificates, leases, probate papers, warranty deeds, and other land related documents such as scrip applications, timber contracts, option contracts, etc., all dated late 1880s to 1910s, and mainly for properties in various counties of Minnesota including Aitkin, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, and St. Louis Counties. Approximately 220 pieces of printed and manuscript ephemera, including receipts, some used checks, postcards, account papers, used envelopes, as well as several pamphlets such as the Woodsman’s Handbook, Rand-McNally Shipper’s Guide of Louisiana; Rand-McNally Shipper’s Guide of Minnesota, dated circa 1900s -1910s. 7 bank issued calendar notebooks, containing various memoranda, notes, addresses, names, etc., dated 1907-1910, 1913-1914, and 1927. 29 maps, various sizes, some oversize, mostly printed, a couple hand drawn, various states of condition, some with tears along folds, at edges, etc. These are mainly land maps, township maps, county maps, of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some maps have hand written notations, likely working maps for the Milliken & McGuire business. 1 plat map book, measuring 11” x 8 ½”, bound in cloth, binding worn, chewed by insects, includes 70 black and white printed maps of sections, townships and ranges, within Northern Minnesota, with penciled notations on homestead locations, vacant homesteads, etc., inside front board is inscribed “H. McGuire / Forestry / U. of M.”

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       Milliken & McGuire

Hartley McGuire was born about 1858 at Presque Isle, Maine. He relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1878 and went into the lumbering business, which he conducted for about 25 years before he died on 19 June 1912. He was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery at Minneapolis. At the time of his death, his obituary stated he had two brothers, Miles McGuire of Northome, Minnesota, and D.E. McGuire of Presque Isle, Maine; and two sisters, Mrs. Walter Ames of Minneapolis and Mrs. Horace Austin of Littleton, Maine. McGuire married Lucy Trusty in 1888 and had one son, Herman.

Besides buying and selling timber, he also bought and sold lumber lands, as well as real estate, particularly real estate in Minneapolis, where he owned a two-story brick building business block at Lyndale and Twentieth Avenues North. He purchased half of this property from the estate of his partner Washington I. Milliken.

Milliken was a partner with McGuire in the firm of Milliken & McGuire, 332 Boston Block. Milliken was also born in Maine, circa 1844. He went to Minneapolis about 1880 and soon became interested in the lumber business. McGuire worked for Milliken for about 5 or 6 years, before Milliken made him a partner in the firm and together, they carried on the business for about 19 years until Milliken, while visiting St. Paul, Minnesota, was struck and killed by a trolley car in June 1905.

After Milliken’s death, McGuire settles the affairs of the company and the correspondence tends to be written to McGuire at this point. Up until about 1903, Milliken & McGuire’s firm was confined to the region around Grand Rapids, Michigan, but as the timber gave out at that place, they transferred their business to International Falls, Minnesota. The firm had an office in the Boston Block in Minneapolis once they switched to International Falls. Their office was located at Grand Rapids, prior to the change, although both Milliken and McGuire were residents of Minneapolis. Milliken for many years was also engaged in the lumber business at Alpena, Michigan.

Some of the correspondents to Milliken & McGuire are fellow timber merchants (Nichols Lumber Co. of Little Falls, Minnesota; Scanlon-Gipson Lumber Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Namakan Lumber Co., of Minneapolis, Minnesota) and timber real estate dealers (Maginnis & Son of Duluth, Minnesota; W. B. Mitchell of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Oregon and California Railroad Co. Land Office, Portland, Oregon), attorneys (Fielder B. Chew, Washington, D.C.; Shepherd & Lundrigan, Cass Lake, Minnesota; Alderman & Mantor, Brainerd, Minnesota), government land, or court officials (Department of the Interior U.S. Land Office, St. Cloud, Minnesota; Clerk of the District Court Cass County Minnesota), as well as others. The firm of Milliken & McGuire appears to have worked to gain property, or timber rights, that were becoming available by the give backs of the railroads, soldiers’ warranties never taken up, or homesteads which were never settled.

Sample Quotes:

“Office of W.B. Mitchell

Real Estate and Loans

St. Cloud, Minn. January 8, 1903


Messrs. Milliken & McGuire

Minneapolis, Minn.




I wrote December 23, 1902 to the Scanlon-Gibson Co. of Minneapolis, advising them that I had just learned that a quantity of logs had been cut on Section 27, Town 143, Range 26, Cass County, by one H. McGuire, which logs were marked ‘KO4,’ being the mark of that Company, and asking for a settlement for the value of the logs so cut. This land stands on the records in the name of Mr. John Cooper, of this city, by whom it was entered, but is owned by a syndicate in this city, of which I am a member. I am in receipt of letter from the Scanlon-Gibson Company, of date Dec. 27th, saying that they had purchased of you logs bearing that mark, but did not know where they were cut; that they had enclosed my letter to you for reply. I have waited until now expecting to hear from you, but having received nothing write this to call your attention to the matte and ask for an early reply. The owners of the land will expect a prompt settlement for the logs cut.


Truly yours, W.B. Mitchell”


“Office of Nichols Lumber Company

Little Falls, Minn.

March 26th ‘03


Milliken and McGuire, Mpls., Minnesota



Yours of the 25th just at hand. Now Gentlemen I assure you if we got 25 or 30 thousand feet of your logs, we will certainly pay you for them, but if we did not get them you surely do not want us to pay for them. So, I will tell you what I will do, if you will go up right away and meet Mr. Amadon or the scaler Mr. D. J. McKenzie, and go onto the landing and decide positively if we got any of your logs and if so how many and if Mr. Amadon has misrepresented the matter to us and you and Mr. Amadon or the scaler or both of them find that you are right we will pay all your expenses or a man you may send and will at once pay for the logs, if you are mistaken and our man is right then you pay your own expenses for the trip. Now this seems the proper thing to do. I am writing Mr. Amadon stating that I have made you this proposition and to meet you any place you may say. Mr. L. Amadon’s address is Alida, Minnesota, so if you wish to have him meet you or your man just drop him a line.

Yours truly, J.A. Nichols, President”


“Scanlon-Gipson Lumber Co.

Minneapolis, Minn.

May 12, 1903


Milliken & McGuire





The Brainard Lbr co. in paying balances due on account the other day charged us with the following timber cut from the S.W. ¼ of the N.E. ½ of Sec 28 144-36:


401 Norway logs scaling 17,700 ft @ $5.50 per ᵯ $97.35

186 J. Pine “                  5,000 ft @   3.00 “      $15.00

Making a total of                                     $112.35


This is the timber that we called your attention to the last of January and you promised at the time to have it looked up but you evidently have not done so.

We rather not settle account in this way, but if they insist on holding the money back from us, we shall, of course, have to charge it to your account. Would suggest that you take this matter up with them and dispose of it one way or the other advising us what disposition has been made of the claim and oblige.

Yours respectfully,

Scanlon-Gipson Lumber Company”


“Namakan Lumber Company

Timber, Logs and Lumber

Minneapolis, Minn.


Kabetogama Lake

June 21 ‘04


Friend Hartley,


The drive has started at last. Wilson came up with a crew last Thurs. and they started work Sat. They have all the landings in and are putting in those logs that were out in the grass in the bay. If they have fair wind it should not take them over 2 or 3 days more to get everything in shape.

I saw McCrea, but he does not want anything, he has only 4 men at Daly brook at present, they are going to fix up the dam, and will have to work till the water backs up.

Wilson is going out today and I will send this out, I will go up with him as far as the portage and look over that meadow land.

Yours truly, Will C. Anderson”


“Maginnis & Son,

Pine Lands, Soldier’s Additionals,

Land Warrents, Etc.


Duluth, Minn. August 11, 1904


Messrs. Milliken & McGuire

#332 Boston Block

Minneapolis, Minnesota




In reply to your favor of August 10th, we have to advise you that we are watching carefully and closely cases pending before the Department where we scripped lands for you, and that as soon as the Department acts on the application, we will, where scrip is being rejected, re-locate lands with Santa Fe scrip. Under a recent ruling of the Department, they will not allow us to relinquish under our scrip application and file forest reserve; that is, the local office here will reject our forest reserve application. For that reason, we wait until the case is finally closed out, when, being the parties in interest, we immediately get notice, and at once put Santa Fe scrip on the land. We would have you bear in mind that we are looking closely after these cases and that in no instance will we allow your interests to be jeopardized. You may rely on us to protect all of your scrip locations. When we find it necessary to scrip, we will forward new deed from the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Company, with draft for your part of the additional expense.

Very respectfully, Maginnis & Son”


“Alderman & Mantor

Attorneys at Law

Brainerd, Minn.


August 23rd, 1904


Messrs. Milliken & McGuire

Boston Block

Minneapolis, Minn.


Dear Sirs:


You will find enclosed check of D.L. McKay, on behalf of the Mueller Lumber Company for $975.00 in full settlement of trespass on E ½ of SW ¼ of Section 30, Twp. 142, Rge. 26.


We also enclose receipt and release of damage for trespass. Kindly execute same and return to us at your earliest convenience. We are satisfied, on examination of the title to this land, that you are the fee owners.


We also enclose abstract of title sent us by the Register of Deeds of Cass County, at your instance.

Yours respectfully, Alderman & Mantor”



“Beatrice Mining & Milling Company

Mines – Elliston, Montana

St. Paul, Minn. Feb 14, 1905


Milliken & McGuire,

Minneapolis, Minn.


Gentlemen: Thought I would write you in regards our property in Montana. We finished our concentrator Jan 9th at a cost of $12,500.00. We ran mill for a couple of hours to tighten belts and get it into shape. We made some fine concentrates that assayed $16.00 gold, $8.40 silver and $10.00 in copper per ton. The lead and slimes we did not assay. This proved to us that our ore was alright and that the mill saved the values. And when we came to start our mill next morning for steady running, we found our water supply short, caused by not sufficient snow falling early enough to protect our water supply, or source from freezing. Here to fore we have had plenty of snow to protect the water, but this winter ‘just because we want to start u and run our mill’ we didn’t have it. However, we can arrange next summer so that we will not have a repetition of this kind. So, we closed the mill down until into March when we will have plenty of water to wash our ore with. In the meantime, we have built a new ore bin at mill of 1000 tons capacity and it is now being filled with ore of $10.00 per ton value and up. This is as good as so much cash, but is not available until mill starts. We now have the property to the point where we promised to get it and at present it is producing $60.00 per day profit to the company. In the meantime, we have got to rise sufficient funds from the sale of stock to keep up the running expenses of working the mine and getting this ore down to the mill. And now you should not look at it as ‘how much stock ought I to buy’ but how much stock can I buy. We wish to keep these expenses paid for the reason that we want the surplus ore at will to pay for sinking shaft 100 ft. deeper and getting under the ore bodies at which time Beatrice will be on her feet and our stockholders can realize on their investment.

The stockholders are coming to the front in good shape and helping out just now and I should like to see you come in for some. You are interested in the property and I should be pleased to see you get some more of this stock now and help us get it on a paying basis. All of our stockholders most are doing what they can toward this end, and this next 60 days until returns from our mill comes in, is when we need the help. Our mill would of done all this and more could we of run it.

Awaiting your early reply, I am yours very truly, D.G. Barringer”



“Maginnis & Son

Pine Lands, Soldier’s Additionals,

Land Warrents, Etc.


Duluth, Minn. April 25, 1905


Messrs. Milliken & McGuire,

Minneapolis, Minnesota




We have just negotiated for the purchase of 3,000 acres of Northern Pacific Railway scrip, Act of July 1st, 1898, as per the terms of the enclosed copy of contract. We desire to know whether or not we could draw on you for the amount necessary to purchase scrip to replace your lands. If agreeable to you, we will make draft, and at once call upon the Railway Company to make the selection of all of the lands covered by rejected scrip.


The Santa Fe, as you may know, is offering scrip to the highest bidder, and they only have a limited amount on hand. The price will probably go to $10.00 per acre. The Northern Pacific will not contract to deliver more than 3,000 acres at this price, and I am desirous of using the cheapest scrip I can get to replace.

Kindly advise us by wire at once,


Very respectfully, Maginnis & Son”