Creator: Leigh, Mildred J.

Provenance Note:   Letters, documents and photographs created or collected by Mildred J. Leigh were donated to Montana State University by her estate executors, Eugene and Pat Horton of Bozeman, Montana in several deposits starting on September 20, 2010.

Historical Note:  Mildred Josephene Leigh was a professor of home economics and director of the Student Union at Montana State University until her retirement in 1967.  She was born on June 1, 1902 in Fairview Township, Fulton County, Illinois.  Her parents, Walter A. Leigh and Lacie Olive Gentle Leigh were farmers and had also been born in Fairview.  Mildred attended local schools and graduated with a degree in home economics from Cornell College, Iowa, in 1925.  She earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1932. She began her teaching career in in Tennessee, but came to Montana State College in Bozeman in 1930 where she taught institution management and was the director of Hamilton Hall.  She became the director of the Student Union in 1946.  Mildred never married, but she was joined in Bozeman by her sister, Marjorie Ann, in the late 1960s and the two shared a home on Durston Road.  They eventually moved together into an apartment closer into town.  Mildred won a number of academic honors during her lifetime, including an honorary doctorate from Montana State University in 1977.  She died in Bozeman on December 16, 1997.

Content Description Note: The Mildred Leigh papers consist of letters she collected or inherited during her lifetime, various subject files of documents, and photographic images.  The letters include one from an ancestor, Albert Smith, who served in Company F, 86th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War.  Other correspondents include: relatives and ancestors living in Fulton County and elsewhere in Illinois; her sister Marjorie while the latter worked in health care at various places in the Midwest; former MSC librarian Lois Payson while she lived in Wyoming caring for her aging parents in the 1960s; annual Christmas letters from MSC extension agent Harriette Cushman.  The subject files deal with a variety of topics, including Mildred's career at MSU, her family's genealogy record, and historic legal documents dealing with Leigh ancestors in Illinois.  The photographs consist of loose images and three thematic photo albums.


Contents

Series 1 Correspondence, 1840s-1997
Series 2 Subject files, 1840s-1997
Series 3 Photographs, c1902-1990s

Series 1: Correspondence, 1840s-1997

Letters from relatives and friends of Mildred J. Leigh (MJL) along with a few copies of her outgoing messages.  Among the letters are: one written by  an ancestor, Albert Smith, who served in Company F, 86th Illinois Infantry, at Gordon's Mill, Georgia on April 11, 1864; items from Gentle, Smith, and Leigh ancestors writing family members from various locations in New Mexico, Illinois and Iowa during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; several notes from Edward P. Eardley of Salt Lake City to Marjorie Ann Leigh (MAL) during the 1930s; reports from service men acquainted with the Leigh sisters serving during World War II; extensive items from former MSC librarian Lois Payson to MJL; extensive items from MAL to MJL prior to Marjorie's residence in Montana in the late 1960s.  The letters have been chronologically arranged with the exception of the holiday greeting letters from MSC extension agent Harriette Cushman which have been placed in a separate file.

Box 1. Correspondence
    1. 1864-1883
    2. 1918-1923
    3. 1930-1939
    4. 1940-1944
    5. 1945-1949
    6. 1950-1953
    7. 1954-1959
    8. 1960-1967
    9. 1968-1976
    10. 1977-1979

Box 2. Correspondence
    1. 1980-1989
    2. 1990-1991
    3. 1992-1997
    4. Harriette Cushman letters

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Subject files, 1840s-1997

Written essays, legal documents, and other material collected by MJL over her lifetime.  Subjects include the genealogy and family history of the Leigh, Gentle, and Smith families in Illinois and elsewhere, MJL's career at Montana State University, the meetings and transactions of the Montana Institute of the Arts Bozeman History Group chapter, and obituaries and essays written by MJL and others on named individuals associated with Montana State University.

Box 3. Subject files
    1. MJL employment contracts and records from MSC
    2. MJL retirement observance, 1967
    3. MJL honorary doctorate and other honors
    4. “John’s Success” by MJL, 1922
    5. “The Student Union at Montana State University,” by MJL
    6. “Management and Food Control in the College Dormitory, by MJL
    7. “The Trysting Place,’ by Booth Tarkington [typescript by MJL]
    8. Madison earthquake
    9. MSU Home Economics alumni lists
    10. MIA History Group, Bozeman chapter
    11. Marjorie Ann Leigh, Yellowstone microfilming project
    12. Lois Payson
    13. Una Herrick
    14. Gladys Branegan Chalkley
    15. Paul Grieder
    16. Marjorie F. Paisley
    17. Roland R. Renne
    18. A. L. Strand
    19. Miscellaneous obituaries

Box 4. Subject files
    1. MJL early life documents
    2. MJL biographical information
    3. MJL family pets
    4. Genealogy
    5. Greeting cards, invitations, postcards
    6. Legal documents, 1840s-1850s
    7. Legal documents, 1860s-1880s
    8. Legal documents, 1890s-1910
    9. Legal documents, 1911-1950s
    10. William T. Gentle, farm account books and diary, 1852-1868
    11. Lacie Gentle Leigh notebooks, c1900s
    12. Lacie Gentle Leigh cooking and recipes
    13. MJL Christmas card list and address books
    14. Miscellaneous printed items and MJL 1988 day book
    15. MJL Durston Road property abstract

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Photographs, c1902-1990s

Loose photographs and thematic photograph albums containing images of MJL, MAL, students and staff of Montana State College and University, and the various extended members of the Gentle, Smith, and Leigh families of Illinois.  The photographs have been sequentially numbered and placed in topically labeled files.

Box 5
Folder 1. Photographs 1-6, portraits
    1. Mildred J. Leigh [MJL], 1902
    2. MJL and Marjorie Ann Leigh [MAL], 1905
    3. MJL and MAL, 1908
    4. MJL and MAL, 1910    
    5. MJL and MAL, 1912
    6. MJL and MAL, 1913

Folder 2. Photographs 7-14, portraits
    7. MJL, 1919
    8. MJL, c1920
    9. MJL, c1922
    10. Walter and Lacie Leigh, MJL and MAL, c1922
    11. Walter and Lacie Leigh, MJL and MAL, c1922
    12. MJL, c1925
    13. MJL and MAL, 1967
    14. MJL, c1990

Folder 3. Photographs 15-25, ancestors and extended family
    15. Albert Smith, c1861
    16. William T. Gentle, c1860s
    17. William T. Gentle and American Ann Smith, 1866
    18. Lacie Olive Gentle and Walter Leigh, 1897
    19. Jonathan Smith farm, Fulton County, Ill., c1870s
    20. Jonathan Smith farm, Fulton County, Ill., c1870s
    21. William T. Gentle farm, Fairview, Ill, c1870s
    22. William T. Gentle farm, Fairview, Ill, c1870s
    23. William T. Gentle farm outbuilding with hunters, Fairview, Ill, c1870s
    24. Cassandra Foster, c1885
    25. Cassandra Foster, n.d.

Folder 4. Photograph 26, ambrotype of unidentified men, c1850s

Folder 5. Photographs 27-37, informal poses
    27. MAL and MJL on horseback, 1909
    28. MAL and MJL on horseback, 1909
    29. Leigh family, c1909
    30. MAL and MJL, c1910
    31. MAL and MJL, c1910
    32. MAL and MJL and friends, c1915
    33. Mabel Ann Smith, 1918
    34. William Leigh, c1918
    35. Home, Knoxville Avenue, Peoria, Ill., 1909
    36. MJL and unidentified friend, c1918
    37. MJL and unidentified friend, c1918

Folder 6. Photographs 38-50, early informal poses
    38. MJL arrival at Montana State College, 1930
    39. MJL arrival at Montana State College, 1930
    40. MJL at Mammoth Hot Springs, 1932
    41. MJL in front of Hamilton Hall, 1932
    42. MJL in front of Hamilton Hall, 1932
    43. MJL, Edith Watson, Bess Griffith, 1932
    44. MJL, Edith Watson, Bess Griffith, 1932
    45. MJL, Edith Watson, Bess Griffith, 1932
    46. MJL and other Montana State College women at Julia Martin home, 1932
    47. MJL and other Montana State College women at Julia Martin home, 1932
    48. Dorothy Douglas, Sally, Bertha Clow, Frances Bellamy, 1932
    49. Patsy strand, MJL, Sonny Latta, Jimmy Strand, 1935
    50. Hamilton Hall, c1930s

Folder 7. Photographs 51-65, Montana State College people and places
    51. MJL and Home Economics faculty, 1942
    52. MJL and Home Economics faculty, 1943
    53. Composite photo of Home Economics and Hamilton Hall, c1940s
    54. Gladys Brannegan, c1940s
    55. Costume party, Home Economics department, c1940s
    56. Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Strand, c1940s
    57. MJL in office, c1950
    58. Dance at MSC Student Union, c1950s
    59. Dance at MSC Student Union, c1950s
    60. MJL and Home Economics faculty, 1941
    61. Hamilton Hall interior room, c1930s
    62. Hamilton Hall interior room, c1930s
    63. Christmas party, Hamilton Hall, c1930s
    64. Students in Hamilton Hall lounge, 1940s
    65. Una Herrick and students in Hamilton Hall lounge, 1940s

Folder 8. Photographs 66-80, Montana State College people and places
    66. Maurine Ross, head cook, Hamilton Hall, c1940s
    67. Elsie Kent, salad cook, Hamilton Hall, c1940s
    68. Una Herrick, reading to Hamilton Hall students, 1930
    69. Girl’s dance, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    70. Girls dining, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    71. Girl’s dance, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    72. Girls in lounge, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    73. Girls in lounge, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    74. Interior hallway, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    75. Lounge, Hamilton Hall, 1931
    76. Roland Renne and Gertrude Roskie at MJL retirement, 1967
    77. Susie Taylor at MJL retirement, 1967
    78. Katherine Roy, Roland Renne and Gertrude Roskie at MJL retirement, 1967
    79. MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    80. Minnie Paugh and unidentified woman at MJL retirement, 1967

Folder 9. Photographs 81-92, Montana State College people
    81. Max Worthington and Frank B. Cotner at MJL retirement, 1967
    82. Max Worthington and MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    83. Gladys Roem and unidentified at MJL retirement, 1967
    84. Ed Howard and A. L. Strand at MJL retirement, 1967
    85. A. L. Strand at MJL retirement, 1967
    86. Max Worthington and MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    87. A. L. Strand and MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    88. MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    89. A. L. Strand and MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    90. MJL at MJL retirement, 1967
    91. MJL at Honorary Doctorate, 1977
    92. MJL at Honorary Doctorate, 1977

Folder 10. Photographs 93-105, Gallatin Canyon dude ranches and camping trips
    93. MJL and Walter Latta in Karst Kamp corral, September 17, 1933
    94. Walter Latta hitching pack horse, 1933
    95. MJL and Lois assisting Latta hitching pack horse, 1933
    96. Karst Kamp, looking south from cabin number 25, 1933
    97. MJL, MAL and friends at Karst Kamp, 1933
    98. Horses and riders at Karst Kamp, 1933
    99. MJL and Walter Latta at Karst Kamp, 1933
    100. Bear Basin camp, 1933
    101. Friends in unidentified camp, 1933
    102. Friends at the foot of Brisk Top, 1933
    103. Norman in Glacier National Park, 1933
    104. Norman in Glacier National Park, 1933
    105. MJL and Norman in Glacier National Park, 1933

Folder 11. Photographs 106-123, Gallatin Canyon dude ranches and camping trips
    106. Alexandria, Edith Watson, Martha Hawksworth, 1933
    107. George Latta, 1933
    108. Latta photographic Christmas Card, c1930s
    109. MJL wearing chaps, 1934
    110. Aunt Mattie on White Cloud, 1934
    111. Aunt Mattie on White Cloud, 1934
    112. Ready to ride at Rainbow Ranch, 1934
    113. Pack train from Rainbow Ranch, 1934
    114. Rainbow Ranch viewed from east of Gallatin River, 1934
    115. MJL cabin at Rainbow Ranch, 1934
    116. Lois Payson, c1934
    117. Getting ready to go to Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    118. Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    119. Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    120. Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    121. MJL at Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    122. Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949
    123. Joe and Osccar at Buffalo Run picnic, April 10, 1949

Folder 12. Photographs 124-136
    124. “Aunt L” on pack horse outfit, c1930s
    125. MJL and friends, Cooke City, 1949
    126. MJL on snowshoes, Tower Falls, 1950
    127. MJL on snowshoes, Tower Falls, 1950
    128. Ramshorn pack trip, 1954
    129. MJL and Pat Horton, Windy Pass, 1954
    130. MJL at Windy Pass, 1954
    131. MJL at Ramshorn, 1954
    132. Virginia City, c1950s
    133. Boy with calf, Bozeman, c1950s
    134. Camp at Chisholms, c1950s
    135. MJL in snow, c1950s
    136. MJL on snowshoes, c1950s

Folder 13. Photographs 137-157
    137.  Valeria Schmola at beacon in Story pastures, c1950s
    138. Jed Horton, April 10, 1949
    139. MJL, Christmas 1930
    141. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    142. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    143. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    144. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    145. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    146. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    147. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    148. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    149. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    150. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    151. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    152. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    153. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    154. Yellowstone Park picnic, c1950s
    155. Yellowstone Park bear, c1950s
    156. Yellowstone Park Old Faithful, c1950s
    157. Yellowstone Park bears, c1950s

Folder 14.  Photographs 158-166
    158. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    159. Front view from MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    160. Front view from MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1954
    161. Rear view from MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1954
    162. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1951
    163. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    164. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1950
    165. Interior of MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1972
    166. MJL home on Durston Road, Bozeman, 1972

Folder 15. Photographs 167-185
    167. MJL dog, “Freddie,” 1971
    168. MJL at Gates of the Mountains, c1970s
    169. MAL portrait, c1960s
    170. Patsy Strand Dorn, 1969
    171. Patsy and Jimmy Strand, 1969
    172. MJL at Strand home, 1969
    173. MJL at Strand home, 1969
    174. MJL, MAL and friends at Durston Road house
    175. MJL, MAL and friends at Durston Road house
    176. MJL, Christmas 1988
    177. MJL, honorary doctorate portrait, 1977
    178. MAL portrait, c1950s
    179. MJL, Joe May, Bill Dimich, at retirement party, 1967
    180. MJL and A.L. Strand at retirement party, 1967
    181. MJL and Leon Johnson at retirement party, 1967
    182. MJL at 90th birthday party, 1992
    183. MJL at 90th birthday party, 1992
    184. MJL at 90th birthday party, 1992
    185. Birthday cake at 90th birthday party, 1992

Folder 16.  Photograph album, Illinois family pictures

Box 6: Photograph albums: MSC friends and family; diploma

 

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 8/3/16