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Collection 570 - Golden Valley Historical Society organization committee records, 1966-1967

Creator: Golden Valley Historical Society organization committee

Provenance Note: Three original reminiscences by former Golden Valley County residents were loaned to Montana State University for copying by Mrs. Mary Morsanny of Ryegate, Montana on December 15, 1967. The originals were returned to her and their present location is unknown.

Historical Note: The Golden Valley Historical Society organization committee of Rygate, Montana, was an informal group of women who intially met in 1966 to gather family histories of people associated with the founding and development of the county. Headed by Mrs. Evelyn Schanz, the group targeted a list of forty families who they intended to document, but by the end of 1967 they had only three responses. At that time they were contacted by MSU Special Collections librarian Minnie Paugh, and in response Mrs. Mary S. Morsanny (1909-2006) sent the three essays to Paugh for copying. The originals were returned afterwards, and the continuing activities of the committee are unknown. Another group headed by Ronald Belcher of Lavina, Montana called itself the "Golden Valley Historical Society, Inc." and registered the name with the Montana Secretary of State on July 20, 1984 and became inactive in 1999, but its relationship to the organization committee of 1966 is unclear. In 1971 a history book was produced by Morsanny, Margaret Lehfeldt, and Albie Gordon titled Dawn in Golden Valley. The book included heavily edited versions of at least two of the essays Morsanny sent to Paugh in 1967. Other than listing the authors, the book does not identify any publisher or connection with the Golden Valley Historical Society.

Content Description Note: The Golden Valley Historical Society organization committee records include positive photocopies of three essays. "William Otis Pound" is a brief biographical essay prepared by his son, Robert T. Pound, in 1967 that describes Pound's arrival in Montana and places of residence prior to his settlement on Current Creek between the Musselshell River and the Snowy Mountains. "Rygate of 1909" was prepared by Dave Rorabeck of College Place, Washington in 1966. This reminiscence describes Rorabeck's childhood memories of homesteading along the Musselshell River. A handwritten biographical statement by Eugene Wieber gives the background on his family of the Clara, Montana area and his subsequent residence in Laurel, Montana. The collection also includes a typewritten signed letter from Mary Morsanny to Paugh explaining the activities of the Golden Valley Historical Society organization committee and listing the names of several other county residents who had an interest in preserving local history.

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Updated: 6/27/12