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Frank Theodore Hillstrom papers

Identifier: MSS 403

Scope and Contents

The Frank Theodore Hillstrom papers, 1887-circa 1910s and undated, consists of two folders of material documenting Hillstrom's early life, including photographs.

Papers comprise a consolation letter to Hillstrom from J.E. Gustus of the Augustana Business College follwing the death of his mother, encouraging him to return to school; an 1896 Business College graduation program; a Business College grade ticket; a letter of recommendation from the Durango Lumber Company; a postcard depicting the Swedish Lutheran Church in Pomeroy, Iowa; And a postcard from Hillstrom's wife, Vinta, to her uncle Jack depicting her and a companion seated in a black car.

Photographs, 1887-circa 1910s and undated, primarily depict members of Hillstrom's family, although many photographs are unlabeled. Labeled images depict Fullenberger's Saw Mill in Azteca, New Mexico, 1887; Vinta Cooper Hillstrom age eighteen months; Virgal Cooper (possibly Vinta's brother) age five years; Vinta Cooper Hillstrom in a crown and sash in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, 1900; Frank Hillstrom in 1901, Vinta Cooper Hillstrom with two children and a dog, circa 1910s. Unlabeled and undated images include a portrait of Vinta Cooper Hillstrom in a black dress, hat, and corsage; portraits of two unidentified young men; a group of two women (one of whom may be Vinta Coooper Hillstrom) and a man with a headscarf holdign a dog; two portraits of a woman named "Tuckey;" a tintype of an unidentified woman (possibly Rachel Cooper?) in a black dress and hat holding a book; a portrait of a man (probably Frank Hillstrom) circa age 40; an interior shot of a hardware store depicting five men (farmers?) standing among various pieces of equipment, such as stoves, children's wagons, and paint, varnish, and horse tack; and an image of the Hillstrom family's home in Farmington, New Mexico, with several people gathered on the porch.


  • 1887-circa 1910s and undated


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

Frank Theodore Hillstrom was born 3 October 1872 in Pomeroy, Iowa. He attended Augustana Business College in the 1890s and graduated in 1896, after which he attended Iowa Business College in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1899. He was employed by Durango Planing Mill and Lumber Company in Durango, Colorado, from approximately 1900 to 1941, when he retired. He became manager of the company in 1907, and in 1926, the company was renamed Hillstrom Lumber Company. The company had offices in Durango, Farmington, New Mexico, and Aztec, New Mexico.

While he lived in Colorado, Hillstrom met and married Vinta Cooper (born 12 July 1886, Durango, Colorado). The couple and Vinta's mother, Rachel Cooper, moved to Farmington New Mexico around 1910, presumably for Frank to oversee the mill operations there. Frank also co-founded the Aztec State Bank in 1919 and served as president of the bank. Frank died in 1963 and Vinta died in October 1977. Both are buried in Aztec Cemetery in Aztec, San Juan County, New Mexico.


0.2 Cubic Feet (/ 1 box)

Language of Materials



Frank Theodore Hillstrom was a graduate of Augustana Business College in 1896 and Des Moines Business College in 1899. He was active in the lumber industry in Colorado and New Mexico. This collection primarily relates to Hillstrom's early life and includes papers from his time at Augustana Business College, postcards, and photographs of his family and home.


Materials arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Jerry Kudlac, June 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Samantha Crisp, October 2016.

Frank Theodore Hillstrom papers, 1887-circa 1910s and undated.
Samantha Crisp
October 2016
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Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States