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George K. Dike papers

Identifier: 00159

Scope and Content

The collection contains few professional letters or other records of his work as a surveyor. During this same time period, however, Dike was courting his future second wife, Nancy P. Douglas. Writing to her almost weekly between the years 1885 and 1886, he described life in the surveyor's camp. The letters are also filled with Dike's views on love, marriage, and family relationships. They present an excellent description of late nineteenth century middle class values.

This collection is also important for its documentation of land transactions on the Dakota frontier, c. 1873-1907. The land records are complex and include farm contracts, chattel mortgages, warranty deeds, foreclosure notices, and property tax receipts. These records show that Dike owned two lots in Minneapolis and seemed to have engaged in land speculation.

While land records form the bulk of the collection, household accounts are also included. Miscellaneous bank accounts record Dike's personal and business expenses from 1872-1888. Household accounts and receipts document purchases from 1873 to 1899. Other documents include a rental agreement dated 1881 and crop and house insurance policies, 1885-1891. In addition the collection contains such miscellaneous items as a scrapbook of marine botanical samples and some manuscript survey maps.


  • Creation: 1865 - 1907


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Born in Sebago, Maine, George K. Dike (1848-1938) taught school, served in Company I, 30th Regiment of the Maine Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, and worked as a surveyor before establishing himself as a farmer in North Dakota during the late 1880s. Married twice, Dike had two children by his first wife, Harriet Sheldon, who died in 1881 while the family was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After his wife's death, Dike sent the children to live with his sister on the family farm in Sebago while he worked as a surveyor for the Surveyor General's Office, North Dakota Territory.


1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Records Transferred to Other Collections

The following items were removed from Dike, George K. Papers, accession no. HC 00574, and were transferred to other collections, either to be retained or disposed. Any items that should receive special disposition are clearly marked.

PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION: 9 postcards 23 photographs

STAMP COLLECTION: 6 envelopes with stamps

Processor's Name: M. Bevins, E. Pasek Date April 1986

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

George K. Dike Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
M. Bevins and E. Pasek
April 1986
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US