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Collection 147 - Ralph Lumley Oral History Interview, August 14, 1964

Creator: Lumley, Ralph, 1876-1969

Provenance Note: The typed transcription of an oral history interview of Ralph Lumley was prepared by Minnie Paugh, Special Collections Librarian, Montana State College, in August 1964.

Historical Note: Ralph Lumley was a lifelong resident of Red Lodge. (Carbon County) Montana, where he worked as a coal miner from the age of 12 until he was 65. His father, Raddley Lumley, moved the family from Kalo, Iowa to Red Lodge in 1880 where he was employed as a coal miner. Settling Ralph, his mother, two sisters, and a brother in a log cabin, Raddley continued working at the Rocky Fork Coal Company and secured a job for Ralph. After his father's death, Ralph continued working for the company until his retirement, but he continued to pay dues to the United Mine Workers of America for the rest of his life. An amateur musician, Lumley composed several works of music that were never published but received some local performances in Red Lodge, Miles City, and other Montana towns.

Content Description Note: The Ralph Lumley interview is a typed synopsis of conversations and letters prepared by Minnie Paugh, Montana State College librarian, during the summer of 1964 when Lumley was 87 years old. In the interview, Lumley reminisced about his working career in the mines and the development of Red Lodge during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Persons mentioned in the interview include Martha Jane Canary ("Calamity Jane"), John Johnson ("Liver Eating Johnson"), and C.C. Anderson, the superintendent of the Rocky Fork Coal Company. Subjects include Native Americans who visited in the area, crime, and social conditions in Red Lodge.

Updated: 1/28/09