Creator: Maclean, Margaret J., 1913-1997

Provenance Note: An original letter received from Margaret J. Maclean was donated to Montana State University by Mrs. Esther Turner of Ontario, California on January 29, 1966.

Historical Note: Margaret J. Maclean was born on her family's ranch west of Conrad, Montana on September 9, 1913, the daughter of John S. and Mary Maclean. She received a teaching degree from Northern Montana College in Havre but only taught for one year before returning to the ranch where she lived the rest of her life. Maclean ended up inheriting the entire operation after the death of her parents and only brother, and for many years she ran all the ranch operations herself with the aid of hired help. An avid reader and passionate animal lover, Maclean worked hard to improve her cattle herd through scientific breeding methods and humane husbandry practices. She never married, and after her death willed considerable portions of her estate to the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and to the Great Falls, Montana animal shelter. She died in Conrad, Montana on April 11, 1997.

Content Description Note: On November 22, 1964, Margaret Maclean wrote a letter to her former neighbor, Mrs. Ray F. Turner of Ontario, California. In her letter, Maclean describes her life as a sole proprietor rancher, with an emphasis on the difficulties in securing reliable help for her operation. Cattle handling preferences, hay harvesting, and family health matters are also mentioned. Maclean expresses nostalgia for her childhood memories of growing up near the Turner family and gives salutations to all its members.

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Updated: 9/19/11