Duncans in Missoula Co. MT


Duncan research files of
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson
the Genealogy Bug

Last revised August 22, 2007

Formed 1865; original county
Flathead formed 1893 from Missoula
Ravalli formed 1893 from Missoula
Powell formed 1901 from Missoula
Sanders formed 1905 from Missoula
Mineral formed 1914 from Missoula
Lake formed 1923 from Flathead, Missoula


1870 Missoula Co. MT Census
P.O. Missoula ("Cormina County" or similar name written at top of page)
Pg.327, #40-39, MILLER, E.S. (m) 44 OH (white) farmer $120-$650
                  Elizabeth 40 OH keeping house
                  Chs. R. (m) 20 IA works on farm $1000-$0
                  Ay. M. (f) 8 MO at home
                  DUNCAN, Moses 40 KY "m" (mulatto) works on farm $500-$700
Pg.328, #62-60, RUSSELL, Benj. 29 ENG (white) farmer $2000-$1000, parents of foreign birth
                  Louisa 30 KY keeping house
                  DUNCAN, Mary E. 14 CA/CO (Cal/Col?) "H.B." "Ind." at home
                  CHATFIELD, Benj. 6 MT ("Montana") H.B. Ind. at home
                  (MAD: H.B. written in race column, "Ind." added above)

1880 Missoula Co. MT Census
Pg.442B, Bitter Root Valley
#9, DUNCAN, Moses, 51 KY KY KY laborer single (alone)


"Missoulian" newspaper, Missoula, MT (Univ. of MT library, photocopy from Phyllis K. Duncan 6/1995)
      June 8, 1898: Moses Duncan Dead. Moses Duncan, an old timer who has lived in Missoula county for 32 years, died at the Sister's hospital this morning. McGee & Hayes have charge of the remains. Arrangements have not been made for the funeral. Mr. Duncan was about 58 years of age. He formerly owned the Spurgin ranch. Of late years he lived on the Dunchan (MAD: sic) ranch south of Missoula. His sister, Mrs. Van Horn, lives on Miller creek. Mr. Duncan was one of the best known men in the county and was universally liked.
      June 9, 1898: The funeral of Moses Duncan, who died at the Sister's hospital yesterday, will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.


Pension Index Card File, alphabetical; of the Veterans Administrative Contact and Administration Services, Admin. Operations Services, 1861-1934; Duff to A-J Duncan (negative FHL film 540,888, some cards very faint); Joseph Duncan to Dunn (positive FHL film 540,889, some cards very dark)
      Cataloged under Civil War, 1861-1865, pensions, indexes; does not say if Confederate or Federal, but probably Federal. Negative film, some cards much too faint or dark to read, some cards blurred or faded, particularly the service unit and the dates of application. Most of the very faint or dark cards were in a slightly different format, with space for years enlisted and discharged which were sometimes filled in. Many of these were for service in later years, although one or two were for service ca 1866.
      Name of soldier, alias, name of dependent widow or minor, service (military unit or units), date of filing, class (invalid or widow or minor or other), Application #, Certificate #, state from which filed (sometimes blank), attorney (sometimes blank, MAD: did not usually copy), remarks. Sometimes the "Invalid" or "Widow" class had an "s" added to it before the application #; occasionally the area for the service information included a circled "S". The minor's name was frequently that of the guardian rather than the minor.
      The military unit was frequently the Company Letter, the Regiment Number, sometimes US Vet Vol Inf. (US Veteran Volunteer Infantry), L.A. (Light Artillery), H.A. (Heavy Artillery), US C Inf (US Colored? Infantry), Cav. (Cavalry), Mil. Guards, V.R.C. (?Volunteer Reserve Corps?), etc. Sometimes there were several service units given.
      Cards appear to be arranged by the last name, first name, middle initial if any, and state (including "US") of service.
      Duncan, Asa L.; May & L.A.? Mont. Inf.; 1911 Sept. 15, Invalid(S) Appl. #1399077, Cert. #1197199, Mont.; remarks C2441057. (MAD: Missoula Co. MT)

HISTORIES before 1923

1902 "Progressive Men of the State of Montana" pub. by A.W. Bowen & Co. (Los Angeles Public Library book 978.6 P96A; and from index cards of Kit Smith 8/1983)
      Pg.610: (Missoula Co.) ASA L. DUNCAN -- Back to that cradle of much of our national history, the Old Dominion state, must we revert in tracing the lineage of this able and representative member of the bar of Missoula county. In the agnatic (MAD: male or father's) line his ancestry traces to Scottish origin, the Duncans having figured conspicuously in the history of bonnie Scotland. Mr. Duncan was born at Haleford, Franklin Co. VA, on September 10, 1861, his parents being William E. and Sarah E. (Holland) Duncan, both natives of Virginia. For many years the father was a prominent factor in the educational field, receiving his education in Columbian University at Washington D.C., and thereafter establishing an academy at Duncan Ford, where he still maintains his home, although retired from active labors by advanced age. His ancestors located in Virginia prior to the Revolution, in which members of the family were active participants. Prof. William E. and Sarah E. Duncan were parents of seven children, Asa L. being the only son living and the only representative of the family in Montana.
            Asa L. Duncan was reared and educated in Virginia, eventually being graduated as a member of the class of 1883 in the VA Military Institute at Lexington, and remaining there until 1885 as instructor ... (graduated from law department in 1886 & admitted to VA bar). In 1892 Mr. Duncan came to Montana, ... Spanish War ... On July 16, 1900, in Tacoma, Wash., Mr. Duncan was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude M. Hathaway, who was born at Frederickton, N.B., .... (MAD: apparently no children) (MAD: See William Erastus Duncan mar. ca 1847 Amherst Co. VA, son of Wesley Duncan & Sally Camden)

"Montana, its story and biography : a history of aboriginal and territorial Montana and three decades of statehood" by L.E. Munson, ed. by Tom Stout; pub. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1921, 2791 pgs. (LH12734, HeritageQuest images 5/2007 & 8/2007; FHL book 978.6 H2s v.2 and film 1,000,175)
      Vol.III, pg.1014-1017: TYSON D. DUNCAN. ... one of the best known ranchmen, now retired, in the Flathead Valley. Mr. Duncan might be called twice a pioneer of Montana. He first came in the ... sixties, as one of the younger members of the Duncan family. Later, after an absence of a number of years, he returned again, and in the early eighties he and his wife were among the first to settled in the wonderful Flathead country, at what is now Kalispell. ... He is of pioneer American stock. About 1795 his grandfather migrated from Maryland to Kentucky, which had just been admitted to the Union but was still a part of the Western wilderness. The family lived there until 1817, and then with wife and five children, two sons and three daughters, the grandfather migrated to Howard County, Missouri, which marked another Western frontier. They made their home five miles east of Fayette, the county seat, and started the clearing of the land and the building of a home. About two years later, while out hunting, the grandfather Duncan was mistaken for a bear by a neighbor, and his death was one of the tragedies of the frontier community. ... The grandmother showed the courage of many pioneer women and with the aid of her boys eventually saw her ambition fulfilled for a comfortable home. The children grew up and married and settled down in homes of their own.
            When the family moved from Kentucky to Missouri, Ashley Duncan, the youngest son, was about nine years of age. Ashley Duncan remained in Howard County until 1848, when he bought a tract of land in the abandoned Mormon settlement in Northwest Missouri, at Far West, in Caldwell County, about seven miles from the county seat of Kingston. ... He and his family moved into that house in the spring of 1849 and lived there two or three years until he could erect a more suitable dwelling.
            At that time Tyson D. Duncan was about a year and a half old. He was born at the old home near Fayette, September 28, 1847, son of Ashley and Eliza (Sproul) Duncan. He was the twelfth of their thirteen children. Mr. Duncan's early memories and associations are all centered at the old neighborhood at Far West. He was early put to work, and at the age of fourteen was considered a good hand on the farm. ... In time all the Duncan boys went West except one who went South and entered the army, but returned after the war.
            Two of his brothers and two half-brothers and Mr. Duncan's only sister came to Montana in 1864. The party traveled overland with ox teams. Then in the spring of 1865, his father, having sold the farm, went to St. Joseph, and April 25th he and his wife and younger children, including Tyson, took passage on the steamer Cora bound for Fort Benton, Montana. ... About June 20th, relates Mr. Duncan, the boat landed at the mouth of the Maries River, where two of the Duncan boys were waiting with ox teams to take the family on to Helena. ... They reached Helena about July 10th, and within a month the family suffered the grievous loss of the death of the mother. ... The Duncan family located in the Boulder Valley, thirty miles south of Helena, and Tyson Duncan remained there until the following spring ... The next seventeen years of his life Mr. Duncan lived chiefly in Missouri, two years in Jackson County, in the vicinity of Kansas City. In November, 1868, he went to St.Clair County, Missouri, and there on November 25, 1869, married Miss Sarah Caton. It is appropriate to look ahead from that date just fifty years to November 25, 1919, when Mr. and Mrs. Duncan ... celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.
            During the early seventies Mr. Duncan spent two years in Colorado, six months in Bent County and the rest of the time at Silver Cliff in Custer County. In the spring of 1881, while in Missouri, Mr. Duncan contracted a severe case of western fever, and in February, 1882, having sold his little farm, he joined a party of about thirty bound for the West and Northwest. They left Kansas City March 1, 1882, ... to Rogue River Valley in Oregon. The stay in Oregon was brief, only ten days. Mr. Duncan ... continued his journey to Portland, and on the 30th of May took boat and went back up the Columbia River to The Dalles, thence taking the trail over the mountains to Montana. ... Here began his second period of pioneering in Montana. His plans being unsettled, Mrs. Duncan soon returned to Missouri, but he remained there until the following April, when ... to Flathead Valley ... April 16, 1883, they reached the Flathead Valley at the west side of the [Flathead] Lake. ... He filed a claim, stopped at Helena to complete the filing, about the first of June went on to Boulder Valley and assembled his possessions. ... Near Anaconda he took employment with a rancher, helping him put up hay, and about the 15th of August his wife joined him after coming from Missouri, and on the 27th of the same month they loaded their few belongings into a wagon and started for their new home in Flathead Valley ... reached September 9, 1883. ... His nearest neighbor and the first settler in that part of the valley was Nicholas P. Moon, who had located there about three years before. ... In the fall of 1884, Flathead Valley held its first election ... Missoula County, Mr. Duncan was elected justice [of the peace] ... the founding of the new Town of Kalispell, 15 April 1891 ... Politically Mr. Duncan gives his support to the democratic party, religiously he is a member of the Free Methodist Church and Mrs. Duncan is of the Presbyterian faith. ... (MAD: 1880 Custer Co. CO census indexed as "Lyson" Duncan)


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