The Milburn Lincoln Wilson Agricultural Photographs Collection

What is it?

Photograph of Milburn Lincoln WilsonWilson, M. L. (Milburn Lincoln), 1885-1969, was born in Atlantic, Iowa in 1885. He received a B.S.A. from Iowa State College, Ames, in 1907 and his M.S. in agricultural economics and rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1920. He served as Assistant State Agronomist at Montana State College, Bozeman, 1910-12; County Agent in Custer County, Montana, 1912-14; Montana State Extension Agent Leader, 1914-22; and an extension agricultural economist at Montana State College, 1922-24. Between 1924 and 1926 he took charge of the U.S.D.A. division of farm management and cost accounting, and in 1929 he provided consultation on large-scale wheat farming in the U.S.S.R.

Wilson served as the Chief Wheat Production Secretary in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and was the director of the Division of Subsistence Homesteads in the Department of the Interior until June 30, 1934, and then Wilson was appointed the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. In 1937, he was appointed the Undersecretary of Agriculture until 1 February 1940. Wilson then became the Director of Extension Work at U.S.D.A., and while Director, he also filled in as the Chief of Nutrition Programs and in the Production and Marketing Administration between 1943 and 1949.

Note on Titles of Photographs: M.L Wilson provided all the titles for all images in this collection in either his index of images or he wrote them on the photograph itself. In keeping with standard archival practices, no attempt was made to change the titles for those images that share the same title. Therefore, although the images or photographs are different, some of their titles may be the same.

Images in this collection pertain to agricultural subjects and projects studied from 1901 to 1945 at Montana State College. Of particular interest are numerous images of "big hitch" teams, horse drawn implements using eight or more teams of draft animals for power. Most of these photographs record efficient or innovated practices that helped some farmers survive during the agricultural depression following World War I. Additionally, there are photos of farming methods from more humid regions that were inappropriate for conditions in Montana. Other photographs record what life was like on the northern Great Plains during the 1920s.

The Montana State University Special Collections and Archives Collection 2581 - M.L. Wilson Agricultural Photographs Collection, 1901-1945 includes: photographs, nitrate negatives, safety negatives, and glass plate negatives created by or collected by M.L. Wilson. Other M.L. Wilson photographs can be found in the Montana State University Digital Historical Photograph Collection that contains images pertaining to Montana State University campus life and events from 1893 through the 1960's.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Milburn Lincoln Wilson Agricultural Photographs Collection, Montana State University (MSU) Library, Bozeman, MT, [Item permalink or DOI]

Copyright Notice

Whenever possible, the Montana State University Library provides information about copyright in our digital collections records. We often do not own the rights in materials, and as such do not grant permissions for their use. Permissions and fees may be required from the individual copyright holder for uses beyond what is allowed based on U.S. Copyright Law (

Please attempt to determine if an item is protected by copyright and follow any copyright or use restrictions when applicable. Written permission from the copyright holder is required for reproduction of protected items beyond what is allowed by fair use or other exemptions. These materials may be used for personal use, research, teaching (including distribution to classes), or any "fair use" as defined by U.S. copyright laws.

For more information please contact Archives and Special Collections at the Montana State University Library or Leila Sterman, Scholarly Communication Librarian.


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