Sterling Family Papers 1903-1964

Sterling family


38.25 linear ft.
Organized into two subgroups and thereunder into nine series: Subgroup 1: A.M. Sterling Company. I Correspondence. II. Financial Records. III. Legal Records. IV. Promotions and Memorabilia. V. Photographs. Subgroup 2: Robert T. Sterling. VI. Laverne Parrish Memorial Athletic Association (Ronan, Mont.). VII. Ronan Chamber of Commerce. VIII. Ronan Lions Club. IX. Sacred Heart Parish (Ronan, Mont.)..
This collection contains A.M. Sterling Company correspondence, financial, legal, promotional, and photographic records as well as a small sequence of documents Robert T. Sterling collected through his involvement with Ronan, Mont., civic and religious organizations. The materials in this collection provide insights regarding general merchandising operations in rural Montana, the extent to which family enterprises tended to dominate local markets, and Ronan's community history.
A.M. Sterling was born in Frederickton, New Brunswick, in 1869. He attended Frederickton schools and in 1883, at the age of fourteen, began working in a general store at Block Island, R.I. He was there two years, then worked at the grocery house of Cobb, Bates and Yerxa in Boston, Mass. Sterling came to Missoula, Mont., in 1886, and worked at the Missoula Mercantile Company until 1899. In 1900 he joined the Montana Hardware Company in Butte, Mont., but then went to Nome, Alaska, to prospect for gold. He returned to Montana in 1903 and became undersheriff of Missoula County. In May 1905 he purchased the Jesse R. Sear general store, hotel, and livery stable in Ronan, Mont., on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The A.M. Sterling Company supplied the full variety of goods needed by residents of the area. In 1939, Sterling suffered a stroke, and the business was managed by his son, Robert, until 1961. Another son, George, operated the store until it was closed and sold in 1970. Robert T. Sterling was active in a number of Ronan organizations, including the Laverne Parish Memorial Athletic Association, the Ronan Chamber of Commerce, the Ronan Lions Club, and Sacred Heart Parish.
This record replaces NUCMC entry MS 78-1659.
Finding aid in the repository.

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