Creator: Fjare, Orvin B. (Orvin Benonie), 1918-


Provenance Note: Congressional papers created or collected by U.S. Congressman Orvin B. Fjare were donated to Special Collections by Mr. Fjare in August, 1971. A 16mm sound motion picture film of Fjare campaign material was donated by Jon Fjare of Helena, Montana on July 12, 2018.


Historical Note: Orvin Benorie Fjare was born on a ranch in the Melville area near Big Timber, Sweet Grass County, Montana on April 16, 1918. He attended the local schools and Sweet Grass County High School. He became part owner of the clothing store where he worked before enlisting as a private in the U.S. Army in 1940. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Artillery in 1942, received his air force wings in 1944, and was discharged as a captain in 1946 after service in the South Pacific. Fjare became active in Junior Chamer of Commerce, served on the Board of Trustees of the Big Timber Schools 1951-1954, and was a member of the Montana Public Welfare Commission 1952 - 1954. He was elected as a Republican to the 84th Congress (January 3, 1955 - January 3, 1956 and was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1956. He was a member of the State House of Representatives in 1959 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1960. He engaged in the life insurance business and was advertising director of the Montana State Highway Department, 1962-1969. In 1970, he became director of the Montana Federal Housing Administration.


Content Description Note: The Fjare Collection contains 7.5 linear feet of office files from Mr. Fjare's Washington congressional office in 1954-1956. Includes much correspondence with Republican Party leaders at both state and national levels. Also included are case file responses and correspondence between Fjare and his constituents. Issues discussed include farm legislation, national defense installations in Montana, Yellowtail and Hungry Horse dams, Charles M. Russel Memorials, proposed highway projects, and additions to the national forests. Office bills and records are also included. Original order has been preserved. Two photographs of Fjare are included along with political scrapbooks are copied on microfilm.

Series 1: Campaign and Republican Party Correspondence, 1954-1957

Includes correspondence involving Fjare's supporters, The Fjare For Congress Club officers, Montana Republican National Sec. Gladys Knowles, Wally Spangelo, Fjare's Office Manager, Mont. Federation of Women's Republican Clubs, Mont. Republican mailing lists, Mont. Republican Central Committee, Mont. Young Republicans, and the National Republican Committee. Much subject matter involves Fjare's congressional campaigns, while some involves Republican Party affairs, speaking engagements, and political matters.

Box 1
1. 1956 Campaign Correspondence, Donor Lists and Voting Record
2. Gladys Knowles, Republican Nat. Sec. Correspondence, January 1955 - November 1956
3. Republican Mailing Lists, 1956
4. Montana Fed. of Women's Republican Clubs Correspondence, 1955-1956
5. Montana Republican State Central Committee, 1955-1956
6. Republican Party Correspondence (General), 1955-1956
7. Montana Young Republicans Correspondence, 1955-1956
8. National Republican Committee, July 1955 - June 1956

Series 2: Private Organizations Correspondence, 1954-1956

Box 1 (Cont.)
9. American Legion, December 1954 - August 1956
10. American Legion Auxillery, September 1955 - February 1956
11. Billings Chamber of Commerce (Air Fair), August 1955 - December 1955
12. Montana Chamber of Commerce, January 1955 - April 1956
13. Farm Bureau, April 1955 - May 1956
14. Montana Farmer's Union, January 1955 - October 1956
15. Montana Hotel Assoc. July 1955 - December 1955
16. Montana Stockgrower's Association, January 1955 - March 1956
Box 2
1. Montana Veterans of Foreign Wars, July 1955 - March 1956
2. Montana Wildlife Association, January 1956 - June 1956
3. Montana Woolgrowers Assoc., January 1955 - March 1956

Series 3: Speeches, Press Releases, Legislation, and Related Papers

Box 2 (Cont.)
4. Radio and TV Station Correspondence, January 1955 - July 1956
5. Press Releases (Farm Bill, Durham Wheat, Oil and Gas, etc.)
6. General Personal Correspondence, Congratulations, etc., June 1954 - October 1956
7. Fjare Speeches in Congressional Record, 1955-1956
8. Fjare Legislation, February 7, 1955 - June 1956

Series 4: Case File Responses, 1955-1956

This series contains blue copies of case work responses from Fjare's office during his term in the House of Representatives. The initial incoming correspondence from Fjare's constituents is not included. This correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the recipient. Recipients are primarily Montana constituents of Rep. Fjare and issues discussed cover a wide array of subject matter. A general idea of subject matter may be found typed in the upper right-hand heading of each letter. Files are organized alphabetically by first letter of the last name of the adressee. Correspondence within a particular letter file are not arranged alphabetically, however.

Box 3
1. A
2-4. B
5-6. C
7-8. D
Box 4
1. D (Cont.)
2. E
3. F
4-5. G
6-8. H
Box 5
1. I
2. J
3-4. K
5-6. L
7-8. Mc
9-11. M
Box 6
1. N
2. O
3-4. P
5. Q
6-7. R
8-10. S
Box 7
1. S (Cont.)
2-3. T
4. U
5. V
6-8. W
9-10. X, Y, Z
11-13. Case Work on Academy Nominations (West Point, Annapolis, and Air Force)

Series 5: Washington Office Papers, 1955-1957

Includes inter-office phone bills, telegraph account forms, postage records, expense vouchers, correspondence and receipts for office furnishings. Also included are office letters such as requests by constituents to be placed on the mailing list for the Congressional Record.

Box 8
1. Correspondence regarding Congressional Record mailing list
2. Office Phone Bills, Telegram, and Postage Records
3. Office Correspondence with Library of Congress
4. Expense Vouchers, Receipts
5. Office Furnishings - Receipts, Purchas Orders, Correspondence

Series 6: Independent Federal Agencies Correspondence, 1955-1957

Includes general correspondence between Fjare's Congressional office and numerous independent federal agencies (agencies not under a cabinet department). Papers pertaining to U.S. Department agencies are organized as Series 9 (this is done to maintain the original order of Fjare's office files). Much of this correspondence is initiated by Representative Fjare on behalf of constituents. Both correspondence between Fjare's office and the agencies and between Fjare and his constituents are included. Agencies included herein include the Federal Communications Commission, the General Accounting Office, the National Labor Relations Board, and others.

Box 8 (Cont.)
6. Post Office, Regional Post Offices, and Constituents
7. Postal Transportation Dept., Requests for Appointments, etc.
8. Civil Aeronautics Adm. Activities
9. Civil Defense Adm
10. Civil Service Commission
11. Civil Aeronautics Board
12. Federal Communications Commission
13. Federal Power Commission
14. Federal Housing Administration
15. Foreign Claims Commission
Box 9
1. General Accounting Office
2. Hoover Commission
3. General Services Administration
4. Housing & Home Finance Agency
5. Interstate Commerce Commission
6. National Labor Relations Board
7. Railroad Retirement Board
8. Small Business Adm.

Series 7: National Defense Correspondence

Includes correspondence between the Fjare office, constituents, and defense agencies about defense efforts in Montana and nationwide. Matters discussed include a possible Air Force fighter base at Miles City, possible radar stations site near Jordan, Lewistown, and elsewhere, Glasgow air base housing shortages, discharges of Montana servicemen, efforts to bring Montana Air Reserve Center to Billings, Enlistment rank concerns, disbanding of Veterinary Corps, inquiries about purchasing surplus army equipment, reserve training in Billings, personnel transfers for Army officers, Army Corps of Engineer projects, nominations, complaints, Concerns about a guided missile range near Glasgow, Jaycee Air Fair in Billings, and other matters.

Box 9 (cont.)
9. Air Force
10. Army Correspondence
11. Army Corps of Engineers (Flood Control, etc.)
Box 10
1. Navy
2. Coast Guard
3. Defense Department

Series 8: Miscellaneous Montana Papers

Contains papers and correspondence pertaining to Fjare's operations and activities inside Montana. These files are kept in the original order and include correspondence regarding the Fjare for Congress Club, Charles M. Russell memorials, and proposed highway projects inside Montana. Much miscellaneous correspondence of a salutory nature is included, along with correspondence between Fjare and the Montana State legislature.

Box 10 (cont.)
4. Correspondence at Billings Office (Campaign Finances, and Organization)
5. Papers and Correspondence from Montana Legislature, 1955-1956
6. Miscellaneous Correspondence, Foreign Affairs, etc.
7. Miscellaneous Correspondence with Constituents, 1955-1956
8. Correspondence (Roads, Wilderness Area, Unemployment)
9. Miscellaneous Correspondence (Pending Legislation, etc.
10. Miscellaneous Correspondence (C.M. Russell Statue, Attorneys, etc.)
Box 11
1. Miscellaneous Correspondence (Mont. Legislature, Youth Council)
2. Chalk Butte Road, Montana Highways
3. Montana Roads, Proposed Highways
4. C.M. Russell Statue, Stamp
5. Federal Job Clearances, 1953-1956
6. Mont. Fish & Game, 1954-1956
7. Mont. Highway Commission, 1955
8. Mont. Railroad/Public Serv. Comm, 1955

Series 9: Papers and Correspondence Pertaining to Federal Department Agencies

Contains papers and correspondence between Fjare, his constituents, and agencies of the executive cabinet. A wide range of subject matter is covered, including agriculture, soil conservation, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Yellowtail and Fort Peck Dams, unemployment, military matters, and other concerns. Most correspondence is between Fjare and his Montana constitutency. Original order is maintained.

Box 12
1. Department of Agriculture, 1955-1956
2. Department of Agriculture, 1956
3. Agricultural Stabilization Comm., 1955-1956
4. National Bison Range (Wesley D'Ewart), 1952-1954
5. Production Credit Associations, Bozeman, G. Falls, etc, 1956
6. Soil Conservation, 1954-1956
7. Paul Van Cleve Land Trade, Nat. Forest, 1954-1955
8. Commodity Credit Corporations, 1955
9. Farmers Home Adm., 1955-1956
10. U.S. Forest Service (Bob Marshall Wilderness, etc.), 1954-1956
11. Rural Electrification Admin., 1955-1956
12. Tongue River Electrical Co-op, 1956
Box 13
1. Bureau of Public Roads, 1955-1956
2. U.S. Patent Office, Unemployment, etc, 1955-1956
3. Patents, U.S. Patent Office, 1955-1956
4. U.S. Weather Bur., 1955-1956
5. Health, Education, and Welfare, 1955-1956
6. Food & Drug Administration, 1956
7. Social Security Administration, 1955-1956
8. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1955-1956
9. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Crow Res., Blackfoot Res., 1955-1956
10. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Crow Council, Crow Lawsuits, etc. 1956
11. Flathead Reservation, 1955
12. Fort Belnap Reservation, 1955-1956
Box 14
1. Fort Peck Reservation, 1954-1956
2. Northern Cheyenne Reservation, 1955
3. Rocky Boy Reservation, 1955-1956
4. Bureau of Land Management (Oil & Gas, etc), 1956
5. Bureau of Land Management (Rents, Claims, Fees, etc.) 1955-1956
6. Bureau of Mines, 1954-1956
7. Bureau of Reclamation (Irrigation at Helena, Havre, etc.) 1955
8. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1955-1956
9. National Park Service (Yellowstone Elk, Roads, Park Employment, etc.) 1955-1956
Box 15
1. Office of Minerals Mobilization (Manganese Mining, etc.) 1956
2. Regarding Red Lodge Chrome Deposits, 1953-1956
3. Buffalo Rapids Irrigation Project, Terry, Mont., 1954-1955
4. Colorado River Basin Project (Bur. of Reclamation, etc.) 1955-1956
5. Fort Peck Dam, 1955
6. Helena Valley Unit/Bureau of Reclamation, 1955
7. Hell's Canyon, 1955-1956
8. Huntley Project, 1956
9. Moorehead Dam, Powder River, Bureau of Reclamation, 1955
10. Yellowtail Dam Correspondence Papers, 1954-1956
11. Yellowtail Dam Publicity, Legislation, Clippings, 1953-1956
Box 16
1. Kodak Anti-Trust Case, U.S. Marshalls Salary, etc, 1955-1956
2. FBI (Hotel Reservations) 1955
3. Immigration & Naturaliazation Service, 1955-1956
4. Vetrans Administration, 1955-1956
5. Department of Labor, 1955-1956
6. U.S. State Dept. (Foreign Aid, etc.) 1955-1956
7. Visas and Passports, 1955-1956
8. Foreign Aid, 1956
9. Bureau of Customs, 1955-1956
10. Port of Entry at Raymond, Mont, etc. 1955-1956
11. Treasury Department Regulations, Matters, 1955-1956
12. Atomic Energy Commission, 1955-1956

Series 10: Legislative Files, 1955-1957

Contains papers and correspondence from constituents, interest groups, and government agencies regarding legislation being considered by the various committees and subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Correspondence includes requests to vote for or against bills or alter specific provisions of bills. Some correspondence is of an informative nature. These papers are organized alphabetically according to the separate committees of the House of Representatives.

Box 17
1. Farm Legislation, House Agriculture Committee, 1956
2. House Agriculture Committee, 1954-1956
3. Correspondence/Farm Questionnaire, 1956
4. Soil Bank, 1956
5. House Ag. Committee, 1955-1956
6. Public Lands, 1955-1956
7. Regarding Worm Infestations, Interior Approp., 1955
8. Durham Wheat/Wheat Farmers, 1954-1956
9. Sugar Act Extensions, 1954-1956
Box 18
1. House Appropriations Committee, 1955-1956
2. Appropriations Committee, Proposed Research, Drainage, Mosquitos, 1955-1956
3. Appropriations/ Construction of Drainage Projects, 1955-1956
4. House Armed Services Committee, 1955-1956
5. House Bills/ Universal Military Training, etc. 1955-1956
6. House Banking and Currency Committee, 1955-1956
7. House Committee on Committees, 1955-1956
8. House Committee on Education and Labor (School Funding, Libraries), 1955-1956
9. Committee on Ed. and Labor (School Bonding Laws, etc.) 1955
Box 19
1. Committee on Ed. and Labor (Indian Ed. Contracts, Approp.) 1955
2. Committee on Ed. and Labor (School Construction) 1955-1956
3. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1955-1956
4. House Committee on Government Operations, 1955-1956
5. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 1955-1956
6. Interior and Insular Affairs, Indian Affairs Subcommittee, 1955-1956
7. Crow Reservation Land Restoration, Interior and Insular Affairs, 1955-1956
8. Interior and Insular Affairs, Agnes Voorhies Land Deal, 1955
9. Interior and Insular Affairs (Mining, Use of Public Lands) 1955
10. Interior and Insular Affairs, Legislation on Building Funds, 1955
11. Interior and Insular Affairs, Land Transfer to Miles City, 1955
12. Interior and Insular Affairs, Mineral Grant to Crow Res., 1955
13. Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee Correspondence, 1955-1956
14. Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee Corresp., Silver Bill, 1956
15. Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee. Natural Gas Regulations, 1955-1956
Box 20
1. Judiciary Committee, McCarron-Walter Bill, 1955-1956
2. Judiciary Committee, Construction Codes, 1955-1956
3. Judiciary Committee, Regarding Medicine Lake, Mont. Water Pollution, 1954-1956
4. Judiciary Committee, Regarding Keith Botterud, 1955-1956
5. Judiciary Committee, Regarding Dr. Kuo York Chynn, 1955-1956
6. Judiciary Committee, Havre Sacred Heart Hospital Relief, 1951-1956
7. Judiciary Committee, Equal Rights Amendment, 1955
8. Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 1955
9. Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, 1955-1956
10. Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, Miles City Hatchery, 1956
11. Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Civil Service Retirement, Rates, etc. 1955-1956
12. Post Office and Civil Service Committee, Pay Raises, Other Issues, 1954-1955
13. Public Works Committee, 1955-1956
Box 21
1. Public Works Committee, National Highway Program, 1952-1956
2. Public Works Committee, National Highway Program, 1955-1956
3. Public Works Committee, National Rivers and Harbors, 1955
4. Rules Committee, 1956
5. Un-American Activities Committee, 1955-1956
6. Veterans Affairs Committee, 1955-1956
7. Ways and Means Committee, 1955-1956
8. Ways and Means Committee, Reciprocal Trade, 1955-1956
9. Ways and Means Committee, Co-ops, 1955-1956
10. Ways and Means Committee, Social Security, 1955-1956
11. Ways and Means Committee, Excise Tax, 1955-1956
12. Ways and Means Committee, Fluorspar Mining, 1955

Series 11: Photographs and Microfilm

Two photographs of Orvin Fjare taken during his political career and a microfilm copy of the congressman's scrapbooks.

Box 21
Folder 13
#1. Fjare Portrait, 4x7"
#2. Fjare Addressing Republican National Convention, San Francisco, 1956

Box 22 Microfilmed scrapbooks

Box 23 Fjare campaign film

Updated: 8/30/18