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Collection 217 - Johnny Healy Frontier Sketches Scrapbook, 1878-1900

Creator: Stewart, Lou Stocking, 1862-1942

Provenance Note: Scrapbook pertaining to John J. "Johnny" Healy and created by Lou Stocking Stewart was donated to Montana State Unviersity by Nora Haber of Fort Benton, Montana in 1964.

Historical Note: Lou Stocking, born in 1862, grew up on the family ranch near Fort Benton, Montana and attended St. Mary's Academy at Leavenworth, Kansas. She married Albert H. Stewart sometime after 1910. They spent their lives in Ft. Benton and Great Falls while Albert managed sheep ranches at those locations and Belt, Montana. By 1926, Mrs. Stewart had become very active in various clubs including, but not limited to, the Society of Montana Pioneers, Montana Federated Women's Clubs and Grand Army of the Republic Women's Relief Corps. Lou Stocking Stewart died on March 1, 1942.

John J. "Johnny" Healy was born in Ireland and came to Montana in the early 1860s and intitally worked as a prospector. By 1869 he had begun trading with various Montana and Canadian Indian tribes, distributing whiskey from Fort Hamilton, an Alberta trading post he established which became commonly known as "Fort Whoop-Up." When the Canadian government closed his operation in 1874, Healy moved to Fort Benton and eventually became sheriff of Choteau County, a position he held until 1882. During his time in Fort Benton, Healy wrote a series of historical interest columns for the River Press which he titled "Frontier Sketches." Thereafter he traveled to Alaska where he was involved with a number of mining and mercantile businesses, and he died in Los Angeles in 1908.

Content Description Note: The Johnny Healy Frontier Sketches scrapbook contains a number of Healy's historical columns from the River Press, gathered and preserved by Lou Stocking Stewart. She supplemented the Healy authored pieces with articles written by others about general Fort Benton area history and biographical information on Healy. Much of the information in the "Frontier Sketches" is autobiographical in nature and describes Healy's hunting experiences, encounters with Indians, and Missouri River navigation. A table of contents, prepared by library personnel, supplements the volume.

Updated: 4/1/10