Creator: Swenson, Kenneth J., 1915-2012; Dasinger, Anton


Provenance Note: Three seven inch reels of recording tape containing scripted readings and oral history interviews created by Kenneth Swenson and Tony Dasinger were donated to Montana State University by Merrill G. Burlingame, Bozeman, Montana, in the summer of 1970. The tapes were transcribed and digitally rendered in later years by MSU Library personnel.


Historical Note: Kenneth J. Swenson was born in Dore, North Dakota on October 3, 1915. After military service in World War II he worked as an office manager in Glendive, Montana. He initially attended Dawson Community College in Glendive to earn a teaching certificate and began a career in education, eventually moving to Bozeman, Montana in 1966 where he became an elementary school principal and began work on a master's degree in education at Montana State University. He died on September 1, 2012. Anton "Tony" Dasinger was born on May 31, 1918 and grew up in Sidney, Montana. He moved to Bozeman in 1952 where he owned a cleaning business and became active in the Masonic fraternity. He died on August 3, 1980 in Bozeman.


Content Description Note: In 1967 Kenneth Swenson was a student in History 302, the "History of Montana" course taught by Montana State University Professor Merrill G. Burlingame. For his class project, Swenson chose to produce a historical narrative tape recording pertaining to the life and family of Nelson Story, Sr., a prominent Montana pioneer of Bozeman and Los Angeles, California. Swenson, assisted by Tony Dasinger, began on April 16 by reading a lengthy biography of Nelson Story as composed by his son, Thomas Byron Story, in a letter written to Mr. J. Elmer Brock of Kaycee, Wyoming. The disposition of this original document is not revealed in the narration. Swenson and Dasinger next went to the Bozeman home of Malcolm Story, the oldest son of Thomas Bryon, and interviewed him at length. The information given by Malcolm includes details on his grandfather's life and adventures, along with personal details of the extended family of Nelson's four children: Nelson "Bud" Story II, Thomas Byron Story, Walter L. Story, and Rose Story Hogan. Malcolm also commented on furniture pieces in his home that came from his grandfather's house. Swenson and Dasinger next visited Gerard "Bud" Story Burkhart, the grandson of Nelson Story II, for an interview. Again details of the extended Story family were discussed, and some information Burkhart provided contradicts the earlier interview with Malcolm Story. Burkhart also discussed an ancestor of his wife, Hans Peter Gyllembourg Koch, and Koch's work with Nelson Story, Sr. as a trading post operator and banker. The tapes conclude with Swenson and Dasinger reading excerpts from letters written by Koch from Montana during the early 1870s. The original letters are now part of the holdings of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. This collection consists of the three magnetic audiotape reels, three folders containing a synopsis of the tapes along with complete transcriptions, and the digitally rendered recordings.

Updated: 12/14/12