Creator: Furman, Edith R., 1880-1971

Provenance Note: Photographs of Montana Indians and a historical newspaper clipping scrapbook were donated to Montana State University by Edith R. Furman of Kirby, Montana in several deposits during 1964, 1966, and 1969. This collection incorporates materials formerly assigned accession number 407.

Historical Note: : Edith R. Furman (1880-1971) was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Llewellyn and Elizabeth Edwards Rees. She attended the Indiana Normal School (now the Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and taught school prior to moving to Morrill, Kansas where she married William H. Furman on July 6, 1923. The couple moved to Kirby, Montana later that same year. In 1928 the Furmans established store at Kirby. After William's death on November 2, 1956, Edith operated the store alone, continuing until her final illness around 1970. During her years in Montana, Furman took snapshots of Crow and Cheyenne Indians who attended various functions in her area, including the Crow Fair near the Little Bighorn battlefield and a monument dedication on the Thomas Penson ranch at the Rosebud Battlefield. Edith Furman died on January 5, 1971.

Content Description Note: The materials in this collection were created and gathered by Edith R. Furman during her time in Montana. Series 1 contains photographs created and gathered by Mrs. Furman, likely taken at the 1934 dedication of a monument on the Rosebud Battlefield, and on other dates at the Crow Fair at Crow Agency near the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Identified tribes represented include Crow, Cheyenne, and Choctaw. Series 2 is a scrapbook compiled by Mrs. Furman. Titled "Book II: Montana History, Battle of Little Big Horn & others. Edith R. Furman, 1933-34," the scrapbook contains undated and unidentified newspaper clippings with no photographs.


Series 1 Photographs, ca. 1924-1954
Series 2 Scrapbook, 1933-1934


Series 1: Photographs, ca. 1924-1954

The images in this series are for the most part undated; those that are dated span the date range from ca. 1924 to 1952. The first Crow Fair sponsored at the Crow Agency occurred in 1904, and by 1909 a sham battle reenactment depicting the Battle of the Little Bighorn was incorporated into the festivities. Edith Furman likely attended the 1924 Crow Fair and perhaps others in the following years where she took photographs. To the south of Furman's home at Kirby was the site of the Battle of the Rosebud, then incorporating part of a ranch owned by Thomas Penson. On June 17, 1934, the Billings, Montana Shining Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented a monument to Big Horn County to commemorate the soldiers killed and wounded at the Battle of Rosebud Creek. Furman attended the event and took some of the photographs in these series. After donating the photographs, early library personnel erroneously wrote the date of 1910 on images 10-14, 19-19, & 22. The correct date should be 1924 or later. Photograph titles adapted from information Furman wrote on the verso have been indicated with quotation marks. Those titles without quotation marks were either by the processor.

Box 1
Folder 1: Cheyenne Indians, Photographs #1-8
#1. "Three Cheyenne Children"
#2. "Monument Dedication," Kirby, Montana, ca. 1934
#3. "The Tallest Cheyenne"
#4. The Tallest Cheyenne
#5. "Smiling Indian"
#6. "Will Furman"
#7. "Martie"
#8. Cheyenne girls
Folder 2: Choctaw Indians, Photograph #9
#9. "Choctaw Indian" Family
Folder 3: Crow Indians, Photographs #10-19
#10. Crow Female walking
#11. Young Crow girl at fence
#12. Crow female with baby on back
#13. Two Crow Indians in battle dress on horses
#14. Man on horse, leading horse
#15. "Miss Penson" next to young Crow girl on horseback
#16. Crow female standing next to children on horseback
#17. Young Crow girl on horseback
#18. Crow Indians on horseback
#19. Crow Indians in battledress on horseback
Folder 4: Crow Indian Structures, Photographs #20-23
#20. "Crow tepee"
#21. "Crow dance hall"
#22. "Crow encampment"
#23. "Crow encampment"
Folder 5: Crow or Cheyenne Indians, Photographs #24-38
#24. "Mrs. His Bad Horse"
#25. "Mrs. Shaved Head"
#26. Smiling Crow or Cheyenne male
#27. "Vera, Mabel, & Elsie" with Crow or Cheyenne male
#28. Crow or Cheyenne boy & female in front of tents
#29. "Meat drying near Ashland"
#30. "Beaverheart planning trip home"
#31. "Buffalo Horn & Squaw"
#32. Crowds at the Little Big Horn monument
#33. Individuals on horses near a corral
#34. Crow or Cheyenne Indians in battle dress and soldiers on horses
#35. Crow or Cheyenne Indians on horses
#36. Crow or Cheyenne Indians in battle dress on horses
#37. Crow or Cheyenne Indians in battle dress and soldiers on horses
#38. Crow or Cheyenne Indians on horses
Folder 6: Limpy Family, Photographs #39-48
#39. "M. Limpy"
#40. Limpy daughter in chair
#41. Limpy daughter in antlers
#42. "Mr. & Mrs. Limpy"
#43. "Mary, Mamie, & Eva Limpy" on porch
#44. "Limpy daughters and unknown child by fence"
#45. "Mary, Mamie, & Eva" Limpy by antlers
#46. Mary, Mamie, & Eva Limpy by antlers
#47. Three men on horseback
#48. "Limpy headquarters"
Folder 7: Miscellaneous Scenery, Photographs #49-51
#49. General Nelson A. Miles home
#50. Crevasse at Big Horn Montana
#51. Custer Monument
Folder 8: Rosebud Creek, Photographs #52-57
#52. "Lewis Dog"
#53. "Monument unveiling" at Rosebud
#54. "Sham battle"
#55. Sham battle participants
#56. Sham battle participants on horseback
#57. Crowd and participants

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Scrapbook, 1933-1934

This scrapbook chiefly pertains chiefly to the Battle of Little Big Horn, Battle of Rosebud Creek, Custer and his widow, Native American Indians, and other individuals pertinent to battles of 1876. Many of the articles appear to retell the information for a semi-centennial commemoration of the battles. Other information the scrapbook touches on includes Theodore Roosevelt's trip to Montana in the 'eighties' and the Hay Corral Fight. Additional topics range from the Vigilantes, the Pony Express, French explorers, fur traders and trappers, and Irish Montana schools in private homes.

Box 1 (cont.)
Folder 9: Montana History Scrapbook

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 5/13/10