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Photographs - Collections - 851-900 - #00870

Title: Martin Paul Mosbrucker

Dates: ca. 1910-1957

Collection Number: 00870

Quantity: 21 items

Abstract: Images of artifacts, archaeological excavation sites, and buildings in Mandan, N.D.

Provenance: Mosbrucker’s archaeological collection and manuscript collection were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by his daughter, Margo Koller, San Pablo, CA, on December 8, 1986. Manuscript materials were transferred by the Museum Division to the State Archives in January 1991. These photographs were separated from MSS 10536.
Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed. 

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.
Related Collections:       
1986.226 Mosbrucker Collection (Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division)
MSS 10536 Martin Paul Mosbrucker


Martin Paul Mosbrucker, retired switchman for the NP Railroad, died Wednesday, June 26, 1963 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Fargo (ND). Mosbrucker was born November 7, 1890 to Mr. and Mrs. Peter P. Mosbrucker. He entered the military service March 26, 1918, at Mandan (ND) and was discharged a Sgt. Major of Hq. Co. 58th Inf. At Camp Dodge (AL) on August 11, 1919. Mosbrucker married Lavina Staigle in Mandan on November 16, 1936. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and of the American Legion.

Mosbrucker Archeological Collection Donated
C. L. Dill, Plains Talk, spring 1987

Margo and Lynn Koller of San Pablo, California, recently donated the Mosbrucker archeological collection to the SHSND. The collection consists of 225 cubic feet of materials gathered by Mrs. Koller's parents, Martin and Lavinia Mosbrucker, while they lived at Mandan.

The Boley (32M037) site is the largest single component in the collection. A Mandan earth lodge village, the site dates from ca. AD 1725-1785, and was bisected by the railroad around 1900. Approximately two-thirds of the site was recently destroyed by a housing development, and the small remaining portion has been actively mined for artifacts by private collectors.

Boley artifacts in the Mosbrucker collection include ceramics, projectile points, chipped stone scrapers and knives, bone awls and knives, sandstone and bone abraders, bone and shell ornaments, bone knife handles, historic trade goods, and floral and faunal remains. It is particularly valuable because Mosbrucker took photographs, made maps, and kept records of his excavations. These documents, also donated, provide a context in which the artifacts can be interpreted.

Materials from Fort Abraham Lincoln (32M026), now a State Park, are the second largest component. They consist mostly of historic materials related to the military, including military insignia, shell casings, bullets, glass and metal buttons, horse shoes, and bottles, as well as other glass, ceramics, and hardware.

Other sites represented are Double Ditch and Fort Buford State Historic Sites, Fort Union Trading Post and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Sites, Fort Berthold and Deapolis earth lodge villages (which have been destroyed), and various other prehistoric sites.

Mr. and Mrs. Koller offered the collection in early 1986. After inspection in storage in Denver and completion of necessary paperwork, personnel from the State Parks and Recreation Department transported the collection to Bismarck. Dr. Frederick Dockstader, former Director of the Museum of the American Indian in New York, appraised the collection, and it is presently in temporary storage.
Portions of the collection have already been selected for an exhibit about Knife River Flint at the Heritage Center. Materials from the collection will also be included in permanent exhibits. Fort Lincoln materials will be available to the State Parks and Recreation Department and Fort Lincoln Foundation for use at Fort Lincoln State Park. The Mosbrucker Collection, with its related records and provenience data, is a major contribution to our ability to understand, interpret, and exhibit North Dakota's history and prehistory.


00870-01 Doll collection of Mrs. Dr. Chapman, Hazen, N.D.
00870-02 Man with a corn stalk
00870-03 Group of men in front of the First National Bank building at the northwest corner of Main and Collins, Mandan, N.D. ca. 1910-1920
00870-04 Skull of a Mandan Indian woman and elk horn garden tool excavated in a residential section of east Mandan, near the foot of the west slope of Crying Hill July 1940
00870-06 Group on horseback
00870-08 – 09 Loveland Museum, Loveland, Colo.
00870-10 Ceremonial spear found in 1957
00870-11 – 19 Flint projectile point or knife
00870-20 Beads
00870-21 View of two archaeological excavation sites

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