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Finding aid of the John Bratt Collection Ranching Records and Biographical Material
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Container List
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Bratt Collection Ranching Records and Biographical Material
    Dates: 1869-1941
    Collection number: 90.253.1300-1318
    Creator: Bratt, John, b. 1842
    Creator: John Bratt and Company
    Collection Size: 1 linear foot
    Repository: Autry National Center. Institute for the Study of the American West
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
    Abstract: Records of John Bratt and Co. Ranching firm
    Physical location: Autry Library
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/research_application.php or contact library staff at (323) 667-2000.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry Library, Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item identification] John Bratt Collection Ranching Records and Biographical Material, 90.253.1300-1318. Autry Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

    Acquisition Information

    Rosenstock Collection.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Michele Wellck, 1992.

    Biography / Administrative History

    John Bratt was born in Staffordshire, England, on August 9, 1842. He came to the United States in July 1864, settling in Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory. From 1866 to 1870, he worked as a bullwhacker with a freighting team boud for Fort Phil Kearney, Wyoming. In 1869, he was hired as a bookkeeper by Coe and Carter Cattle Company, which was headquartered at Fort McPherson. He was married to Elizabeth Burke while at Fort McPherson. In 1870, he founded a cattle ranching company, the John Bratt and Co. He kep a majority of his cattle on Birdwood Creek, northwest of North Platte, Nebraska. He retired from this business in 1898. Between 1898 and his death in 1918, Bratt served on the North Platte School Board, served two terms as mayor of North Platte, acquired interests in stock yards, and worked with his son-in-law E.R. Goodman in real estate and insurance. John Bratt's autobiography has been published as Trails of Yesterday in 1921.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records of the John Bratt and Co. Ranching Firm (1869-1895), which comprise the bulk of the collection, include monthly inventories of livestock, cattle sale records, lists of cattle brands and marks, an inventory of company land, accounts of time worked by ranch hands, and accounts of provision purchases. The biographical material includes obituaries of John Bratt and his published essay on his ox team freighting days (1917-1918). Also in the collection are several Federal Writers Project pamphlets relating to pioneer life in Nebraska (1939-1941) and a newspaper account of Buffalo Bill Cody's funeral (1917).


    Arranged by format.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Bratt, John, b. 1842
    Ranching -- Nebraska
    Ranchers -- Nebraska
    Cattle trade -- Nebraska
    Cattle brands
    John Bratt and Co.
    Coe and Carter Cattle Company
    Buffalo Bill, 1846-1917

    Trails of Yesterday / by John Bratt
    Pioneer Freighting Days with Ox Teams in 1866 / by John Bratt

    Container List

    Box 1: Ranching Records
    Folder 1: Ledger (Shelved in Oversize) Folder 2: Memo Book Nov. 30, 1877 to Apr. 17, 1878 Folder 3: Memo Book Apr. 17, 1878 to Aug. 19, 1878 Folder 4: Memo Book June 24, 1880 to Oct. 16, 1880 Folder 5: Time Book Nov. 1885 to Apr. 1886 Folder 6: Notebook - Land Inventory; Various Notes, 1885 to 1886 Folder 7: Notebook - Cattle Counts; Various Notes 1885 Folder 8: Notebook - Cattle Sold 1886 Folder 9: Notebook - Birdwood Ranch Provisions 1893 Folder 10: Ledger - Cattle and other stock lists Folder 11: Ledger - Cattle Count; Brand and ear marks Folder 12: Ledger - Account of Horses, Mules - McPherson Herd, 1875-1883 Folder 13: Ledger - Account of Cattle, McPherson Herd, Aug. 1875 to Dec. 31, 1883 Folder 14: Account of Cattle - Wood River and McPherson Herds, Sept. 16, 1869 to Dec. 31, 1875 Folder 15: Account of Native Herd, Fox Creek, June 1879 Folder 16: List of Names
    Biographical Material
    Folder 17: Essay - Pioneer Freighting Days with Ox Teams in 1866 /by John Bratt Folder 18: Newspaper - North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune, June 18, 1918 - Obituary of John Bratt on p. 3 Folder 19: Newspaper - Omaha Evening Bee, June 17, 1918 - Obituary of John Bratt on p. 5 Folder 20: Publications on Pioneer Life in Nebraska Folder 21: Newspaper - Denver Post, Jan. 15, 1917 - Funeral of Buffalo Bill Cody

    Related Material

    The papers of John Bratt's daughter, Elizabeth Bratt Baldwin, are held by Special Collections at the University of North Dakota's library.