Creator: Whithorn, Doris

Provenance Note: Research papers, photographs, and other materials pertaining to the history of Park County, Montana created or collected by Doris Whithorn were donated to Montana State University in a series of deposits beginning in 1965 and ending in 1983. This collection incorporates collection numbers 856, 1054, 1197, and 1380.

Historical Note: Doris Swenson Whithorn was born in Davenport, Nebraska on December 18, 1916. Whithorn attended the University of Nebraska and taught school in her early life. After marrying William "Bill" Whithorn, Doris moved to Billings, Montana where the couple started a family. In 1948, the Whithorns purchased a tourist court in Emigrant, a location in Montana's Paradise Valley just north of Yellowstone National Park in Park County. They operated the "WAN-I-GAN" business for twenty-eight years, during which time they took an interest in local history. Bill was an amateur photographer and used his skills to copy historic photographs other residents would periodically loan. Together they began publishing small picture books offered for sale at their business, usually devoted to the colorful history of the area. In 1976, the Whithorns took part in establishing the Park County Museum in Livingston, and Doris became its curator for fourteen years. During her career, Doris wrote twenty-one books and booklets, many with her husband, and numerous magazine articles which feature the copy photographs and original images the Whithorns had created or collected.

Content Description Note: The Whithorn files consist of original compositions and collected materials which formed the basis for some of her publications. Included are: a copy photograph of an original town plat map of Yellowstone City, Montana Territory, along with a letter describing the composition of the same; a lengthy history of Emigrant Gulch, illustrated with original and copy photographs, written by Doris Whithorn in 1963 while enrolled in a Montana State University history class; a history of Chestnut, Montana written by Andrew Walker and sent to Whithorn sometime in the 1960s; a 1977 carbon typescript of a speech given by Doris Whithorn titled "Park County Women; photocopies of two self-guided history tour itineraries from Emigrant to Bozeman and Livingston along the Trail Creek Road, composed in 1981 and 1983.

Restrictions: All of Doris and Bill Whithorn's compositions are protected by copyright. Researchers are advised that permission for any publication beyond "fair use" guidelines must be granted by the donor, her heirs or assigns.


Box 1
1. Yellowstone City map and letter
2. Emigrant Gulch, pp. 1-20
3. Emigrant Gulch, pp. 21-40
4. Emigrant Gulch, pp. 41-56
5. Emigrant Gulch, photographs and captions
6. History of Chestnut
7. Park County Women
8. Trail Creek History Tour

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 6/2/10