Creator: Pondera History Association

Provenance Note: Original photographs, documents, reminiscences, and other materials pertaining to the history of Pondera County, Montana, were loaned to the Montana State College library in 1968 for copying by Dorothy Floerchinger of Conrad, Montana. The materials were returned after their duplication and their present location cannot be verified. This collection incorporates material formerly assigned accession numbers 312 and 315.

Historical Note: The Pondera History Association was founded in Conrad, Montana sometime before 1968, initially for the purpose of gathering information to include in a county history book. Among the founding officers were President Veta Marsh, Secretary R. M. Emery, Treasurer A. J. Kovatch and members Dorothy Floerchinger and Marian Kovatch. After soliciting material from various Pondera County residents and reviewing history papers that had been written for an adult history class taught in Conrad in 1955, the committee found it had more information than they could fit into their proposed publication. Pondera was published in Great Falls, Montana by the Blueprint and Letter Company in 1968, and the additional unpublished material was made available for copying by the Montana State College library.

Content Description Note: The Pondera History Association files consist of photocopies and duplicate photographs primarily of material gathered by the organization and not included in their 1968 book, Pondera. Subjects include: homesteading reminiscences; the Marias River massacre of 1870 (also known as the "Baker Massacre"), the Blackfeet, Cree and Metis people; and other topics specifically relating to Pondera County or the surrounding region. With two notable exceptions (Folders 6 and 14) the material appears to have been placed in no logical order and put into folders as they were photocopied. This random order has been retained in the present inventory. A series of meticulously typed catalog cards were produced that attempted to itemize the contents of the original folders. After checking for accuracy, most of the information from the original cards has been retained in the following inventory.


Box 1
Folder 1. Photographs
#1. Hotel Ryan in Conrad
#2. Henry A. Howe
#3. Della Pearl Howe
#4. the Conrad School
#5. Newspaper Staff
#6. Nash Family
#7. Grandpa Nash and His Team
#8. Ray and Esther Turner at Their Homestead Cabin
#9. Mr. And Mrs. E. A. Savory
#10. P.H. Zeimantz Homestead in 1913
#11. Luis Arnold Homestead in 1913
#12. Peter Debur
#13. Williams Homestead in 1913
#14. Olaf Hertz Homestead
#15. Howes Restaurant and Lodging
#16. R. E. Bruner's combine, first in the Dupuyer area
#17. Later model combine, 1913
#18. Horse teams working near Valier
#19. Horse teams working near Valier
Folder 2.
Two advertising flyers for the Pondera book; Letter from Phyllis Gruel and Mrs. Howard to Mrs. Floerchinger telling about the routines of getting a history book published; "Tall tales and Mostly True"; Letter from Ray Turner to his son John which tells family history; Biographies of the Centennial Pioneers: Mary Adams, Mary Rutherford Davis, Mrs. William E. Hadcock Sr., Lucy McKnight, Mrs. A. E. Leech: John B. Pepion, John and Nettie Embody Pfeiffer, Robert J. Ryon, Mrs. Bob Salois, Henry Williamson, Eily Embody York, Louis Orsie.
Folder 3.
"Old Travois Trail", Dillon Examiner, Sept. 22 ,1919; Baker Massacre (two terms); Letter from Robert J. Ege; Sundance; Sign Language; Dreams and Lodges; Marriage, Running the Buffalo, Social, Camp Life; Life of Oliver Sanderville.
Folder 4.
Introduction to the Upham Letters from the Upper Missouri, 1865; Bill Jones Story Part 2, and the Hanging of the Horse-thieves At Birch Creek; Family of Augustin Hamell, Papers about Willow Rounds; Three Notes about Joe Cobell; Notes about James C. Turner; James Willard Schultz; Ft. Macleod-Ft. Shaw Trail; "Dealer's Choice" (Reminiscence of Pondera Coulee); Note about Robare from Roe; Abbot Coulee Graveyard; Ft. Conrad and the Whoop-up Trail; Chronology of the Marias River.
Folder 5.
Cree Review, May 1966; Interview with Robert Salois; "Here's what I said in my Metis report"; Saga of the Metis by Lois Magar; History of My Life by S. H. Vandenacre; Letters from W. Blonder to R. M. Sauer; 2 Letters in Dutch from Pastoor J. Vermaat; Letter to Reverend Father from N. Buycher; other letters and notes from the settlers of the Belgian colony near Valier. 3 items about the Birch Creek Hutterite Colony.
Folder 6.
Reminiscences of Pete Bokma.
Folder 7.
The Conrads; the Seven Block Ranch; "'Grand Tickler' Queered Nomination"; Notes on the History of the Valier Project by George Ebner.
Folder 8
"Conrad," notes from the directory of Teton County 1911; Reminiscences by Mrs. Mary Slavin and Mrs. Anna Crouch; notes from the Conrad Observer, 1905; Sam Sollid material; clipping on the Conrad Hospital; notes from LaVerne Russell; Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Cheek; Mrs. Mary Buzzell obituary.
Folder 9.
Pondera Pageant Press, July 18-19, 1953; "Conrad, Montana, The Pearl of Pondera County," 1960; "The Choteau Road to Macleod," Choteau Calumet, Dec.18, 1885; "Upper Marias Notes."
Folder 10.
Notes on Dupuyer; Letter from Larry Gill; Obituary of J. W. McKnight; Minnaleah Kingsbury Buell reminiscence of Brother Van Orsdel; "Foot-notes from the Foot-hills"; Cal Perkins; Norah Cooper Fisher letter about the Cooper family; "David B. Smith-oldest Member of the Toole County Old Timers Association"; Obituaries of Mrs. James Miller and Jacob Lauffer.
Folder 11
Noes on Ledger, Montana; Notes from "The Land Keeps Callin" by Effie Orcutt; Reminiscences by Norma Baumann; essays by Con Christenson; account by Marian Wagner Kovatch; Christmas Wedding.
Folder 12.
Mrs. Gordon Monkman, "Montana History," Wheat Center News, v6, 48, 1963; "Old Agency on the Teton", 1964; sketch of Blackfoot Agency Headquarters on Badger Creek, 1880-1895; Priest Butte Crosses.
Folder 13.
Miscellaneous Pondera County material
Folder 14.
"Montana Backgrounds," essays on Pondera County history by Floerchinger and others created for an extension history course taught at Conrad by Carl Gunderson in 1955. Authors and titles include: Dorothy Floerchinger, "Postscript to the Baker Massacre"; Jean T. Magdall, "Joseph P. Thoroughman"; G. E. Cox, "The Sullivans"; Alice Lewis, "Homestead in the Basin"; Zella Trafelet, "Life of John McLaughlin"; Frances Tideyman, "The Seven Block Ranch", Ida Hofland, "Hutterites of Birch Creek"; Donna Olson, "Samuel Sollid"; Hazel Johnson, "Memories of Lettie Gordon Miller of Dupuyer"; LaVerne Russell, "Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Cheek"; LeVerne Russell, "Reminiscences"; Gene Netvedt Martin, "Samuel Sollid"; Emma Novak, "The Crossing"; Freda Phillips, "John Pfeiffer Reminiscences"; Aileen McComb, "John J. Castner"; Alma Z. Angle, "Ching's Little Indian Wife."

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Updated: 3/9/13