Creator: Coates, Grace Stone, 1881-1976

Provenance Note: Grace Stone Coates of Bozeman, Montana, donated her papers to Special Collections in April of 1963.

Historical Note: Grace Stone Coates was born on 20 May 1881 on a farm outside of Ruby, Kansas. Although she never took a degree, she attended Oshkosh Normal, University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. In 1904, she was a school teacher in Butte. It was during this time she met her husband, Henderson Coates, who ran the general store and post office in Martinsdale, Montana. They were married in 1910 and moved to Martinsdale. Grace continued teaching in Martinsdale and was the Superintendent of Schools for Meagher County from 1919-1921. She began writing and her first poem was published in Poetry in 1921. In 1927, her poems started appearing in Frontier (a magazine of the Northwest out of Missoula) beginning a decade long relationship with the magazine. She became acquainted with the editor of Frontier, H. G. Merriam, and was hired as the assistant editor in 1929, a job she kept until 1939 when the Frontier and Midland went out of publication. In addition to her poetry, Coates published three works. Her first work, published in 1931, was Mead and Mangel-Wurzel, a collection of 130 poems. In the same year, Black Cherries, her only novel, was also published. Her final work, Portulacs in the Wheat, published in 1932, is a collection of 42 poems. She also edited two books, Riding the High Country by Patrick T. Tucker, and Jugheads Behind the Lines by Carl Noble. By 1935, her last poem appeared in Frontier. Coates did not, however, completely stop writing. She continued writing as a journalist for many of the local papers. She also helped write the state guidebook for the WPA Federal Writers Project. In 1963, she moved to the Hillcrest Retirement Home in Bozeman where she wrote "Hillcrest Highlights" for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She passed away on 25 January 1976.

Content Description Note: The Grace Stone Coates papers contain correspondence, clippings, poems, reading notes, and postcards. Correspondence to Coates comments on: her poetry and books; solicitations to submit poetry; permission requests to print poems; matters pertaining to the WPA guidebook. Also included in the Coates papers are the memoirs of John Moore and Mary Lee Hunter Doane. In addition to a sampling of some of her published poetry are drafts of reviews Coates wrote on Joaleman's Romantic Copper and Herbard's Sacajawea. Various clippings about Coates' work are also included in the papers. Several postcards from France and some photographs are also part of the Coates papers. A copy of the first official ballot for Gallatin County and a map by William Emerson of Gallatin City in 1881 are also included.


Box 1
1. Grace Stone Coates Correspondence, 1933
2. Grace Stone Coates Correspondence, 1934
3. Grace Stone Coates Correspondence, 1935
4. Grace Stone Coates Correspondence, 1936
5. Grace Stone Coates Correspondence, 1937
6. Grace Stone Coates Poems
7. Grace Stone Coates Reading Notes, 1933
8. Riding the High Country Clippings, 1933
9. Memoir of John Moore, circa 1926
10. Mary L. Doane Memoir; "Tex" Plynell, Custer County History
11. Reviews: Joaleman's Romantic Copper and Herbard's Sacajawea
12. First official ballot of Gallatin County; William Emerson map of Gallatin City, 1881
13. Clippings, 1930s
14. Unidentified clippings
15. Photographs and Postcards, #1-8
     #1. unidentified woman
     #2-3. unidentified man
     #4-5. unidentified log building
     #6. Patrick T. Tucker postcard
     #7. W. F. Cody "Buffalo Bill" postcard
     #8. "Fred Ward standing by ruined foundation of first cabin on South Fork of the Musselshell near Martinsdale between home and Musselshell River. (1880 history describes place. There were 3 cabins there. No mails were used in the building)"
16. Postcards from France, #9-20
     #9. Cleo de Merode
     #10. Dieterle
     #11. Henriot
     #12. Baigneuses (female bathers)
     #13. En Priere (in prayer)
     #14. Femme du Huelgoat
     #15. M. et Mme. Botrel dans la chanson (Mr. and Mrs. Botrel in the song)
     #16. Moce Bretonne-La Gavotte (Breton Wedding Dance)
     #17. Botrel et Jaffrennou dans la chanson (Botrel and Jaffrennou in the song)
     #18. Botrel chez lui devant son lit-clos (Botrel at his house in front of his enclosed bed)
     #19. La maison de Theodore Botrel a Port-Blanc (Theodore Botrel's house at Port-Blanc)
     #20. La Sorbonne, facade principale (The Sorbonne, main entrance)

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Updated: 12/12/08