Collection 154 - Minnie Paugh Oral History Collection, 1964-1975
Creator: Paugh, Minnie Ellen, 1919-2003
Provenance Note: Interview synopsis, transcriptions, notes, audiotapes, audiocassette tapes and related documentation created or gathered by MSU Special Collections Librarian Minnie Paugh were accessioned at various times between 1964 and 1980. The materials in this collection incorporate former accession numbers 155, 208, 231, 232, 281, 330, 341, 344, 352, 358, 361, 363, 383, 456, 520, 521, 579, 596, 639, 868, 1020, 1053, 1139, 1181, 1182, 1310, 2008, and 2362. Former accession number 458 was added to the collection on October 5, 2011. Former accession number 535 was added to the collection on March 29, 2012. Former accession number 372 was added to the collection on June 5, 2018. Former accession number 456 was added to the collection on June 14, 2018.
Historical Note: Minnie Ellen Paugh was born in Virginia City, Montana on April 7, 1919 and in 1961, joined the faculty of Montana State College (later Montana State University) in Bozeman as a reference librarian and instructor. During the bulk of her time at MSU she was assigned to the Special Collections Department at Rene Library, an area she actively built to preserve collections about Montana, Yellowstone National Park, agricultural history, and Montana Native Americans. When first starting out as a Special Collections Librarian, Paugh toured the state to interview many old time residents and solicit materials to build the research collections. These interviews were amateurishly done, often documented by no more than a brief synopsis of the conversation to help document the loan of additional materials such as photographs and documents for reproduction and return to the interview subjects. Again, most of the copy photographic work was amateurishly done and of questionable quality. Occasionally Paugh would take the time to transcribe, with an varying degree of accuracy, the entire conversation, but her inexperience with recording equipment, and a practice of placing more than one subject on any given tape, complicated the effort. She continued her interviews well into the 1980s, and used some of her material in the composition of an unpublished history of Madison County, Montana during the mid-1970s. The Madison County interviews which were specifically conducted for Paugh's research have been placed with her work on that project in Collection 2051, and the remaining interviews, which range over a wide variety of topics, have been gathered in this collection. Following her retirement, Paugh was awarded the rank of associate professor emeritus of library science by the Board of Regents of Higher Education for her many contributions. Paugh also received the Blue and Gold Award for bringing national distinction and dedicated service to Montana State University, and she died in Billings, Montana on March 20, 2003.
Content Description Note: The interviews represented in this collection are an eclectic mix of Montana citizens sought out by Paugh in her attempts to document the state's history. Never a trained interviewer, and a recording technician of limited competence at best, Paugh's interviews are uneven and represented by complete transcriptions, partial transcriptions, summary notes, and sometimes only by the tape itself. Interviewees include: Allinson, Elsie Nave (1895-1987); Brewington, George (1888-1979); Brooks, Elizabeth (1898-1979); Byran, Joseph M. (1881-1968); (Chattin, Lavina (1877-1974); Davis, Susan (1886-1967); Davis, Wiley S. (1886-1980); Foster, John (1890-1974); French, Florence Conway (1885-1971); Gilkerson, Winifred H. (1885-1981); Harper, Jewell (1909-1996); Heidel, Albert W. (1889-1974); Jackson, Dorman (1883-1973); Jones, Marlyn J. (1901-1980); Kifer, Alma Fly (1890-1978); Lawton, William H. (1892-1973); Martin, Wayne (b. 1895); Merrilies, Louise N. (1879-1966); Moen, Oscar A. (1883-1973); Mueller, Josephene (1883-1976); Ross, Marie Server (1885-1968); Salisbury, Grace (b. 1885); Saxton, Ruth (b. 1885); Sedgwick, Mollie Fay (1885-1986) SunChild, John (1930-2004); Talbot, Robert William (1924-2004); Todd, James (1889-1977); Toman, J. Fred (1886-1975); Wampler, David Cloyd (1879-1968); Zupan, Mary (1884-1974). Montana places mentioned include: Fergus County, Gallatin County, Madison County, Powder River County, Bercail, Bozeman, Broadus, Browning, Butte, Fort Custer, Judith Gap, Lewistown, Two Dot, and Wisdom. Subjects include sheep and cattle ranching, homesteading, electric power generation, education, Battle of the Big Hole, the Yellowstone Expedition of 1869, Sisika Indians, Chippewa Cree Indians, and commerce. Each interview has been placed into a numbered folder, and in those cases where a reel tape or audiocassette exists, the object has been placed in Series 2 with the same folder number as the transcript or synopsis in Series 1. Some interviewees loaned Paugh documents and photographs to copy, and in those cases the additional material has been placed in the folders immediately following the transcription or synopsis. In a few cases, the recordings have been converted into digital files and preserved on compact discs. Like the original recordings, these disks have been assigned the same folder number of the transcription or synopsis in Series 1. In those cases where photographs and other documentary material was loaned to Paugh for copying, the material has been placed in folders immediately following the interview documentation files in Series 1.
|Series 1||Interviews and related documents|
|Series 2||Audiotapes and compact disc recordings|
Interview synopsis sheets, transcriptions, and related documentation for all persons contacted by Paugh in the course of her efforts to build research collections. In the cases where no transcription or summary was performed of the tape, a folder has been placed to contain whatever accession information is available with the intention to replace that record with a more thorough description as time and resources allow. The interview subjects have been arranged in alphabetical order, with supporting information files containing substantive groups of copy photographs, clippings, and related materials in folders immediately following the subject's numbered interview file. Numbers in brackets following the transcription file synopsis represent the original accession numbers assigned by Paugh. The Allen Johnson interview, former accession number 458, was added to the collection on October 5, 2011.
- Box 1
- 1. Allinson, Elsie Nave. Interviewed November 11, 1980. Interview synopsis
- Montana native raised in Radersburg and Townsend. Experiences growing up, homesteading, and being a dressmaker in Bozeman. The original tape was defective and discarded. 
- 2. Allinson photocopied documents
- 3. Brewington, George. Interviewed October 18, 1968. Interview transcription
- Native of Livingston, Montana. Transcribed reminiscences include information on school at Careless Creek and Bercail, Montana; experiences in shearing sheep and freighting, ranching, and horse trading in the Judith Gap area. Brewington also mentions the following individuals: Alfred j. Bouchard, John Burke, James A. Craig, Charles A. Evans, Willard L. Halbert, Ramus E. Indreland, David Lake, Angus McKay, Edward Massing, Charles Meyers, P. I. Moule, John Ross, Lewis Patterson Stigen, and Louis Weber. The original tape of the Brewington interview was added by Paugh to a reel used to record a Montana Institute for the Arts, Bozeman History group meeting and can be found in Collection 298, Box 6, Tape 16. 
- 4. Brewington photocopies and clippings.
- 5. Brooks, Elizabeth. November 3, 1973. Land abstract.
- Gallatin County resident and owner of a ranch in the Bozeman Pass that incorporates the townsite of Chesnut, Montana. Brooks mentions Una B. Herrick and the Turkey Trail in her interview. The audiocassette recorded interview was never transcribed and details Brooks memories about her life in Chesnut. The land abstract was provided to Paugh following the interview to establish the ownership history of the property. The tape has been placed in Series 2.
- 6. Chattin, Lavina "Vina." October 8, 1964. Interview synopsis
- Early resident of Fort Benton, and Browning, Montana. Daughter of Blackfoot mother. Information regarding Charles Russell, Sacagawea, Jesse Donaldson Schultz. 
- 7. Davis, Susan "Susie." Accession record card.
- Early resident of Madison County. Childhood reminiscence and family history, along with remarks by Maude Beals and her memories of going to school in Red Bluff, Montana. Audiocassette was never transcribed or adequately described. It has been placed in Series 2. 
- 8. Davis, Wiley S. August 26, 1964. Synopsis of interview.
- Madison County native, son of Bannack settler N. J. Davis. Some information regarding Roecher's Drug store in Bozeman where Davis worked during the first decade of the twentieth century. Also worked for the Montana Power Company from 1920-1944. 
- 9. Davis newspaper clipping, Rotary Club speech, "The Bozeman Power Company," 1934
- 10. Foster, John. ca. 1970. Accession record card.
- Resident of Lewistown, Montana. Interview covers topics such as the DHS Ranch, the Vigilantes of 1884, Chinese at the town of Maiden, and general history of Fergus County. Audiocassette was never transcribed, and recorded on the same cassette as Susie Davis. It has been placed in Series 2. 
- 11. French, Florence Conway. 1964. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Beaverhead County. Information regarding Dillon and the Beaverhead County Museum. 
- 12. Gilkerson, Winifred Hall. 1974. Interview transcript.
- Resident of Bozeman, Montana and proprietor of a restaurant there and in West Yellowstone from approximately 1922 to 1940. Reminiscences about operating the Gilkerson cafeteria, customers, and some family history. The original audiocassette tape has been placed in Series 2. 
- 13. Gilkerson copy photographs of family and buildings; newspaper clipping.
- 14. Harper, Jewell, 1967 Interview transcript.
- Rancher near Two Dot, Montana. Basic family history and some ranching experiences. The original audiotape reel also contains interviews from folder 21, Wayne Martin and folder 25, Josephene Meuller and has been placed in Series 2. 
- 15. Harper copy photographs of the Dorn, Harper, Negus, Orr, and Whelan families
- and ranches at Two Dot and Big Elk, Montana.
- 16. Harper copy photographs of the Dorn, Harper, Negus, Orr, and Whelan families
- and ranches at Two Dot and Big Elk, Montana.
- 17. Hiedel, Albert W. October 31, 1964. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Brodus, Montana. Established Powder River County Bank. 
- 18. Jackson, Dorman. 1965. Synopsis of interview.
- Fergus County rancher. Mentions Charles M. Russell, area ranchers. No recording available. Two photocopied maps have been removed for oversize storage. 
- 19. Jones, Marlyn J. "Judy." 1974. Synopsis of interview.
- Canadian native and resident of Bozeman. Jones worked at the Hauseman and McCall retail store in Bozeman and helped establish skiing in the area. The original audiocassette has been placed in Series 2. 
- 20. Lawton, William H. 1965. Synopsis of interview.
- Son-in-law of Simeon Buford, pioneer sheep rancher, financier and store owner in Virginia City and the Madison Valley. In 1965 Lawton was a wool buyer, business known as the Whiteman Lawton ranch. No tape available. 
- 21. Martin, Wayne. June, 1967. Transcript of interview.
- Sheep rancher near Two Dot, Montana. Basic family history, with little detail regarding ranch operations. Original audiotape reel also contains interviews from folder 14, Jewell Harper and folder 25, Josephene Mueller and has been placed in Series 2. 
- 22. Martin copy photographs of family and ranch near Two Dot and Big Elk, Montana.
- 23. Merrilies, Louise N. August 13, 1965. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Butte, Montana and daughter of brewer Christian Nissler. Memories of Butte, mentions meeting Marcus Clark. No recording available. 
- 24. Moen, Oscar A. October 7, 1964. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Flathead county. Describes road building along Flathead Lake using convict labor and the Flathead Lake "Monster." No recording available 
- 25. Mueller, Josephine. 1967. Transcript of interview.
- Resident of Lewistown, Montana. Reminiscence regarding her life with husband Oscar Mueller and her father, Charles W. Cook, who was on the 1869 Yellowstone expedition. Original audiotape reel also contains interviews from folder 14, Jewell Harper and folder 21, Wayne Martin and has been placed in Series 2. 
- 26. Ross, Marie Server. 1963. Synopsis of interview.
- Native of Big Horn County daughter of Second United States Cavalry Sergeant Fred Server. Information on Server Hotel at Crow Agency and Fort Custer. No recording available 
- 27. Salisbury, Grace. August 25, 1964. Synopsis of interview.
- Gallatin County native, born 1885 near Reece Creek. Ranch ownership locations and childhood incidents. 
- 28. Saxton, Ruth. 1968. Synopsis of interview.
- Resident of Hilger, Belt Montana and Fergus County. Family memoirs and some information pertaining to Charles M. Russell, Fort Benton, and John S. Matheson. The original audiotape reel has been placed in Series 2. 
- 29. Saxton copy photographs of Charles Russell, John S. Matheson,freight wagons,
- and Cree Indian women; newspaper clippings.
- 30. SunChild, John. May 25, 1972. Accession record
- Member of the Chippewa Cree tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation in central Montana. Remarks on changes on the Rocky Boy's Reservation with particular emphasis on education. This interview was never transcribed, and the audiocassette has been placed in Series 2. 
- 31. Talbot, Robert William. 1967. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Henry's Lake area. Information on Sherwood Store and Museum, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, I. A. Hutchens, Dick Rock, Sawtelle,and a strange animal killed in the area in 1887. 
- 32. Talbot documents
- Talbot copy photographs of Sherwood Store and Museum, Sarah Winnemucca Hopics,Mrs. Dick Rock, Butte in 1894, Bannack, and the Targee House; clippings regarding Sarah Winnemucca
- 33. Todd, Jim 1968. Accession record.
- Early resident of Gallatin Gateway (Gallatin County, Mont.) area. Information on the Flying D. Ranch, W. W. (William Wallace) Wylie, Gallatin Gateway, Camp Creek Basin, the Riverside Boarding House, Havana, and Gallatin Canyon. The interview was never transcribed and the original audiotape reel has been placed in Series 2. 
- 34. Wampler, David "Cloyd." May 13, 1965; June 30, 1965. Synopsis of interview.
- Early resident of Wisdom, MT. Recollections of visiting Big Hole Battlefield nine years after the fight and hotel operation in Wisdom. Taped interviews not transcribed, and the two original audiotape reels have been placed in Series 2. [330, 344]
- 35. Wampler clippings and photocopies
- 36. Zupan, Mary. October 17, 1968. Transcript of interview.
- Mary was an immigrant from Yugoslavia who settled with her family on a homestead near Divide, Montana in 1907 and moved, in 1910, to Lewistown. Her daughter, Anna, was born in Lewistown. Information on difficulties in farming and functioning as non-English speaking immigrants. Original audiotape reel has been placed in Series 2. 
- 37. Johnson, Allen. 1966. Synopsis of interview.
- Johnson was former homesteader of Valley County, Montana northwest of the town of Glasgow. He recalled the isolation of the farm and the difficulty with securing teachers in the local school and transporting grain. Owner of the former Two Dot, Montana, hotel, Johnson also gives some background on the building. 
- 38. Johnson copy photographs of Valley County homestead scenes.
- 39. Kifer, Alma Fly. September 1967. Synopsis of interview.
- Kifer was the daughter of Jennie Curtis Fly, an early Gallatin County pioneer who had come to Montana with her family from Utah around 1864. The William Fly property was at Central Park and his son, J.D. Fly's farmstead was on Dry Creek. The interview describes the Curtis family background of Jennie, her marriage to J. D. Fly, and her subsequent move to the Laurel, Montana area after Fly's death. 
- 40. Copy photographs of the Fly and Curtis families.
- 41. Sedgwick, Mollie Fay. 1965. Synopsis of interview.
- Sedgwick was the daughter of Robert Culbertson, the brother of Major Alec Culberson, a pioneer Fort Benton trader. Mollie's interview details the Culberston family genealogy and gives sparse details on her own life in Kalispell, Montana. 
42. Copy photographs of Mr. and Mrs. Alec Culbertson and photocopied clippings about the family.
- 43. Bryan, Joseph M. and Jessie Victoria. 1966. Transcript of interview.
- The Bryans were ranchers in Powder River County, Montana and interviewed in their Brodus home by Paugh, Jack Jenkins, and Merrill G. Burlingame. Bryan rcalls how he came to Miles City first in 1890 and to Otter Creek in 1891. He and his wife describe their ranching and social life in the area. 
- 44. Toman, J. Fred. 1967. Transcript of interview.
- Toman was a rancher who came to Montana from Nebraska and interviewed in Brodus cCafe by Paugh, Jack Jenkins, and Merrill G. Burlingame. Toman recounds his life in Powder River County and his extisive writings and correspondence that were subsequently donated to the Montana Historical Society and held by them as MC 351 . 
Original audiocassettes and audio tape reels created by Paugh, and some digital renderings on compact discs. The tapes and discs have been assigned the same number as the folder in Series 1 that holds the transcription, synopsis, or accession information. It is intended to create digital renderings of all recordings when time allows.
- Box 2
- Reel tape 14, 21, 25 (Harper, Martin, and Mueller)
- Reel tape 28 (Saxton)
- Reel tape 33 (Todd)
- Reel tape 34, A and B (Wampler)
- Reel tape 36 (Zupan)
- Reel tape 43 and 44 (Bryan and Toman)
- Audiocassette 5 (Brooks)
- Audiocassette 7 and 10 (Davis) (Foster)
- Audiocassette 12 (Gilkerson)
- Audiocassette 19 (Jones)
- Audiocassette 30 (Sun Child)
- Compact disc 5 (Brooks)
- Compact disc 7 (Davis)
- Compact disc 10 (Foster)
- Compact disc 19 (Jones)
- Compact disc 30 (Sun Child)
- Compact disc 33 (Todd)
- Compact disc 34 (Wampler)
- Compact disc 43 (Bryan)