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Frazier Augustus Boutelle papers

Identifier: Ax 012

Scope and Contents note

The Frazier Augustus Boutelle papers contain approximately 800 letters from members of the Boutelle family and photographs reflecting Boutelle's military career. The collection also includes various maps, notebooks, military awards, account books, and school papers of F. A. Boutelle's son, Harry. Most of the collection consists of family letters.

Box 1 contains correspondence from the 1870s and 1880s from F. A. Boutelle, Harry, Adelle, and Mary. These letters are to family members and discuss daily events and occurrences in the individuals' lives. Few details are given about military life, but some discuss life in frontier military posts. In a folder located in the front of box 1 is a nine page biography of Col. James Augustus Boutelle written by Donald Erlenkotter of Santa Monica, California. Also included is a three page biography listing the ancestors of James Augustus Boutelle, written in December, 1990.

Box 3 includes letters from Harry, his mother, and his father, Col. F. A. Boutelle. In folder 1893-1897 there are letters from Harry Boutelle at Stanford University to his mother and father. Correspondence to and from Harry and his parents are included in the folder labeled January to June 1898. More letters from Harry in San Francisco and on the U.S.S. Arizona to and from his parents located in the folder labeled July to August 1898. Correspondence between Col. and Mrs. Boutelle and their son Harry in Manila, Philippines are located in the folder labeled September to December 1898. Harry's letters from the Philippines to his parents, girlfriend Annie, and letters of sympathy regarding Harry's death in the war are located in the folder labeled 1899.

Box 4 consists of letters, legal papers, awards and mine papers. In the folder labeled 1900-1933, there are letters of sympathy regarding Harry's death, a telegram noting that Harry's body had been shipped to San Francsico, a 1907 letter regarding the naming of a Seattle harbor steamer after Harry, and letters pertaining to Col. F. A. Boutelle's death. In the folder labeled letter fragments and miscellaneous, there are Harry's report cards from Stanford University, speeches, awards, cards and other items. The folder labeled Vallentine case contains papers pertaining to the case. The folder labeled Frazier Boutelle commissions and other military papers contains approximately fifty papers of awards and other items. The folder labeled Spalding family mine papers contains approximately thirty papers regarding mines.

Box 5 contains miscellaneous items with no folders. Some of the items include an address book, Harry's newspaper clippings regarding "Sioux Campaign of 1890 and 1891," F. A. Boutelle's Vancouver National Bank book, and Harry's geometry notebook from a class at Stanford University.

There is no box 6.

Box 7 includes maps pertaining to the Sioux Indian Reservation, Western Washington, North Dakota, and Vancouver. There are approximately fifteen maps on cloth and paper.

The collection includes 123 vintage prints, arranged by size. They fall into five groups: Frazier Boutelle's military career (1860s-1890s), Harry Boutelle's Philippines expedition (1898-1899), Yellowstone and vicinity (c. 1890), Spaulding mine near Fairbanks, Alaska (1920s), and family images (1860s-1920s). Many are dated are located by internal evidence, but Boutelle's extensive travels through the Indian wars make precise attribution difficult.


  • 1869-1933


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Frazier Augustus Boutelle (1840-1924) was born Sept. 12, 1840 in Troy, NY. His father, James Augustus Boutelle (1808-1889), was from Massachusetts and descended from Revolutionary War fighter Ebenezer Boutwell. (The family name has variant spellings.) Little is known about his mother, Emeline Lamb Boutelle, but by 1871 she was married to E.F. Gordon and living with a daughter in Ontario, Canada. James Boutelle relocated to northern California in the 1850s, and lived with his sister, Susan Boutell Messenger Sterling, in Arcata, CA.

In 1873 Frazier married “Dollie,” Mary Adolphine Augusto Hayden, at Vancouver, WA. Dollie was the daughter of Mary Jane and Gay S.B. Hayden, pioneers who left Wisconsin in 1850 for Vancouver. One of Dollie’s sisters, Adelle Spaulding, lived in Fairbanks, AK, and the two held shares in an Alaskan mine in the 1920s. Frazier and Dollie had one child, Henry Moss Boutelle, born June 17, 1875 at Vancouver. “Harry” attended Stanford for a year and then received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Artillery Regiment in the Philippines. He was killed in action leading the Macabebe Scouts at Aliago on Nov. 2, 1899. In memory of Harry Boutelle, his name was applied to a place in Macabebe Province, a Boston Harbor steamer of the Quartermaster’s Department, and a still-extant battery near the Presidio in San Francisco.

Frazier Boutelle’s military career began June 4, 1861, when he enlisted as one of the first volunteers of the 5th New York Cavalry, Company A. Entering as a quartermaster sergeant, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant Nov. 4, 1862. Following an injury, and promoted to first lieutenant Apr. 2, 1864. During the latter half of 1863, following an injury he was assigned as an ambulance officer to 3rd Cavalry. He was mustered out on disability Aug. 31, 1864 but returned to duty as a captain in the 5th New York on Jan. 10, 1865. Boutelle served at Antietam, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Gettysburg, and the second battle of Bull Run. He served on the staff of Gen. J.H. Wilson, under Gen. Phil Sheridan, and was mustered out in July 19, 1865.

On Feb. 12, 1866 he reenlisted as a private in the regular Army, and was sent, via Panama, to the West to join the First Cavalry’s Company F. By Nov. 1866 Boutelle was at Fort Boise, Idaho, at the beginning of Crook’s Winter Campaign. By 1867 he was a sergeant major. He was commissioned as brevet second lieutenant Jan. 2, 1869, and confirmed May 8, and rose to first lieutenant July 31, 1873. Boutelle served in the Indian wars against the Apache, Piute, Snake, Modoc, and Nez Perce. Most of 1872 was spent in the Klamath region where he was active in the Modoc War and, in a scuffle with Scar-Faced Charlie, precipitated a battle at Lost River that subsequently gained him a brevet promotion and a citation for distinguished service. He was also given a medal during the Nez Perce conflict. Boutelle was promoted to captain on Apr. 24, 1886, and retired Aug. 27, 1895.

In June 1889 Frazier Boutelle was appointed acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. Established as a park in 1872, Yellowstone was initially run by civilians who found it difficult to protect the landscape and the wildlife with resources. The.

Boutelle retired from the Army a second time on Aug. 27, 1895 but immediately took up work with the Washington National Guard. In 1896 Gov. John H. McGraw appointed Boutelle to head the Guard as Adjutant-General, with the rank of brigadier general. Boutel.

Frazier Boutelle returned to duty in 1905 as a recruiting officer. He was active at the Seattle office during World War I, the oldest serving officer of his time, and when the office closed in 1919, he retired from military service for the third and final.


4.75 linear feet (10 containters, 2 volumes)

Language of Materials



Frazier Augustus Boutelle was an army officer who served in the Civil War, and also in various frontier posts in Oregon, Texas, Montana, and California. From 1889 to 1890, he was superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, and in 1895 became adjutant general of the state of Washington. His son, Harry Moss Boutelle was killed in action in 1899 in the war in the Philippines. The collection consists mainly of family correspondence and photographs. Frazier Boutelle's letters describe army life, and his work after his service in the army. A major part of the collection are the letters from 1890 to 1898, of Mrs. Boutelle and son Harry Boutelle, describe Harry's college life and service in the army. The photographs document Boutelle's career and include military scenes of the Indian Wars from 1870s-1890s, images from the Philippines from 1898-1899, and images of the Yellowstone area from 1889-1890.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Correspondence; Miscellaneous; Volumes; and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Collection purchased in 1958.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected items are available online in the Frazier A. Boutelle photographs, c. 1865-1924 in Oregon Digital.

Processing Information note

Photographs processed by Normandy S. Helmer, February 2006.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Frazier Augustus Boutelle papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Vida Germano
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA