Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project. This project examined the metals manufacturing industry and the four Montana communities most directly affected by that industry: Anaconda, Black Eagle, Columbia Falls, and East Helena. Members of these communities share their experiences as merchants, bartenders, union organizers, and families of smelter workers living in towns dominated by metals manufacturing plants. The project was the first in a series designed to explore Montana’s industrial heritage and the role of industry in shaping community identity. Where possible, audio format is noted. The collection is divided between oral histories that have been transcribed and those that have not. Where possible, length of typed transcription is noted.

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Transcribed:

Anna Mae Novis Miles interview, 1987 December 7. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 974). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 27-page transcript. Topics include her parents’ immigration from Yugoslavia; growing up in Anaconda in the late 1920s and 1930s; her work as a switchboard operator at the Anaconda Company smelter during World War II; and the work of her mother, Ann Lescantz Novis, as a smelter worker during World War II.

Earl L. Lenci and Charlene Kraulich Lenci interview, 1988 January 19. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 981). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 15 min.) 47-page transcript. Topics include their childhoods in Black Eagle during the 1940s and their operation of Earl’s Bar in Black Eagle since 1958.

Emelia Tabaracci Qunell interview, 1986 February 6. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 910). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (50 min.) 19-page transcript. Topics include growing up in Black Eagle; neighborhood life; the Italian and Croatian communities in Black Eagle; the establishment of the Black Eagle Civic Club; the shutdown of the Anaconda Company’s Great Falls Reduction Department; the removal of the company smokestack; and the Catholic Church.

Erma Rockhill Bennett interview, 1986 September 30. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 946). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 45 min.) 46-page transcript. Topics include her various work experiences in Anaconda from the 1930s to the 1960s; her job at the Anaconda Company smelter during World War II; and her struggles as a widow to support her children during the 1940s.

Kathryn Wetzel Newton Dewing interview, 1986 August 11. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 940). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 50 min.) 64-page transcript. Topics include living in Anaconda from the 1940s to the 1980s; the Mine-Mill union; Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union; her work at the Anaconda Company smelter during World War II; and her over forty years working as a waitress at the Park Cafe. ___________________________________________________________________________

Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

Amelia Guzovich Polich interview, 1986 March 13. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 914). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 35 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include her family’s operation of the Chicago Mercantile in Black Eagle; Croatian traditions; Catholic Church activities; and Anaconda Company relations with the Black Eagle community from 1910 to 1980.

Ann Wagenbach Petek interview, 1986 May 16. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 922). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 40 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include community life in East Helena from 1923 to the 1980s; relations between ASARCO and the town; her participation in activities at Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church; and her work at the East Helena post office.

Ann Washatko interview, 1987 June 11. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 969). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (35 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include her life in Columbia Falls and her work for the “People for Jobs” organization attempting to prevent the closure of the Anaconda Aluminum Company plant in the mid-1980s.

Anne Prebil interview, 1986 July 10. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 932). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 25 min.) Topics include the Slovenian community and its traditions in East Helena, and her work at the ASARCO plant during World War II.

Carolyn Crisler interview, 1987 March 16. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 966). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (40 min.) 5-page summary. Topics include her operation of the Anaconda Indian Alliance from 1977 to 1986; specific alliance programs she promoted; and her work as a secretary at the Anaconda Company smelter from 1974 to 1975.

Dorothy Moran Anderson interview, 1988 January 19. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 978). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 55 min.) 6-page summary. Topics include her family history; growing up in Sun River, ca. 1910-1930; farming in Teton County in the 1930s; and her work at the Anaconda Company’s Great Falls Reduction Department during World War II.

Ellen M. Kloker interview, 1987 February 28. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 963). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 20 min.) 9-page summary. Topics include her work as a secretary, switchboard operator, and supply clerk for the Anaconda Company smelter at Anaconda from 1967 to 1982; and the impact of the smelter’s shutdown on the community.

Ethel Fleury Scheet interview, 1988 August 17. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 985). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 20 min.) 5-page summary. Topics include living in East Helena from 1958 to 1988; her involvement with the East Helena school board from 1976 to 1985; and her work with the East Helena Historic Preservation Society in its attempt to save the Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church.

Ethel Hogfoss Byberg interview, 1987 December 7. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 973). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include community life in East Helena from the 1940s to the 1960s; her husband, Wesley Byberg; and Norwegian American traditions.

Fay Loveall and Beulah Graham Loveall interview, 1986 December 4. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 959). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr., 10 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include Fay Loveall’s work for various Columbia Falls businesses and her operation of Fay’s Electric Shop from 1953 to 1960. Beulah Loveall discusses her work at the electric shop and teaching in Columbia Falls from 1923 to 1927. Together the two women talk about community life; town personalities; the construction of the Hungry Horse Dam; and family history.

Flora Beal Sullivan interview, 1986 October 1. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 948). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr., 5 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include Beal family history; her work as a beauty operator in Anaconda from 1929 to 1941; and her involvement with the Girl Scouts.

Isabel Tracy McCarthy interview, 1986 October 2. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 949). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr., 10 min.) 8-page summary. Topics include her childhood in Anaconda in the 1920s; neighborhoods in the community; St. Peter’s Catholic Church; entertainment; raising twelve children in Anaconda; and the role of the Anaconda Company smelter in providing employment for townspeople.

Jennie Ranieri Signori interview, 1987 April 23. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 967). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 45 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include her family’s operation of Ranieri’s General Mercantile store and boardinghouse in Black Eagle from 1909 to 1918; and Italian traditions, foods, and fraternal lodges in Black Eagle.

Joan Brozicevich Earl interview, 1988 January 19. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 977). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 5-page summary. Topics include church activities and local businesses in Black Eagle during the 1940s and 1950s; women’s work; and ethnic traditions and various neighborhoods in the community.

Johanna Micheletti Hamer and Howard Hamer interview, 1986 February 28. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 906). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include the Italian community in Black Eagle from the 1920s to the 1980s. Howard Hamer recounts his work for the Anaconda Company’s Great Falls Reduction Department from 1950 to 1980 and the effects of the plant’s closure on workers and the community.

Joseph Bolkovatz and Frances Bolkovatz interview, 1986 August 12. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 943). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 13-page summary. Topics include various attitudes toward the Anaconda Company; the Mine-Mill union; leisure-time activities, neighborhoods, and religious life in Anaconda; their survival on a smelter worker’s income; and the Croatian American community. Residents of Anaconda.

Judy Berardi interview, 1986 November 7. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 953). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (50 min.) 6-page summary. Topics include her involvement in the “Save the Plant” (or “People for Jobs”) organization formed in 1985 to find a buyer for the ARCO aluminum smelter in Columbia Falls; organizing efforts, lobbying, and Bonneville Power Administration hearings; and the aluminum plant purchaser, Brack Duker.

Leah Lona Plumlee Albright interview, 1988 July 27. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 984). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include her work as a chemist at the ASARCO smelter in East Helena from 1943 to 1984.

Lester A. Mergenthaler and June Mergenthaler interview, 1986 December 11. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 961). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr., 5 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include Lester Mergenthaler’s work at the ASARCO lime quarry, south of East Helena, from 1944 to 1977; his father’s garage business in East Helena; and local employment opportunities in the 1930s. June Mergenthaler describes social life in East Helena and the community’s characteristics.

Margaret Anderson interview, 1986 September 8. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 976). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 20 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include her Norwegian heritage and a neighborhood on the north side of Great Falls early in the 20th century.

Margaret “Peggy” Condon Tabaracci interview, 1986 February 27. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 908). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 5-page summary. Topics include the effects of the 1980 Anaconda Company smelter shutdown on Black Eagle; 1981 efforts to obtain the former Anaconda Company clubhouse for the Black Eagle Civic Club; and her work at Borrie’s Restaurant from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Marie “Cookie” Palagi Godlewski interview, 1987 May 7. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 968). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr., 5 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include community life, ethnic traditions, and church activities in Black Eagle from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Muriel Verrill Rossberg interview, 1988 January 18. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 979). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (35 min.) 3-page summary. Topics include her experiences as a mail carrier at the Anaconda Company’s Great Falls Reduction Department during World War II.

Myrtle Moe Fagenstrom interview, 1986 March 14. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 920). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 35 min.) 6-page summary. Topics include community life in Black Eagle from 1910 to 1921, including life among the Swedish and Norwegian communities; the Moe family; and working at Matteucci’s Store from 1916 to 1921.

Olanda Rinari Vangelisti and Claire Vangelisti Del Guerra interview, 1986 July 16. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 935). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 55 min.) 9-page summary. Topics include community life in Black Eagle from the 1920s to the 1980s; Italian heritage and traditions in Black Eagle; and the Anaconda Company smelter’s role in the community.

Ruth L. Renfrow interview, 1986 December 4. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 958). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include her move to Columbia Falls in 1954; the operation of Renfrow’s Cabinet Shop; and her participation in Church Women United and other community groups.

Ruth Parry Meidl interview, 1986 August 11. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 941). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (55 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include growing up and living in Anaconda and owning and operating with her husband, Mel Meidl, the Mill Bar in Anaconda from 1964 to 1986.

Ursula Kablin Jurcich interview, 1988 January 8. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 975). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr., 15 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include family ownership and operation of Jurcich’s Grocery Store in Anaconda from 1926 to 1943; and her work at the local Anaconda Company smelter during World War II and at Anaconda department stores.

Virginia Scheet interview, 1987 April 21. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 965). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include relations between the ASARCO smelter and the East Helena community from 1956 to 1986; her involvement with the East Helena Improvement Association; and the local acceptance of smelter effluents. Resident of East Helena.

Zaira Stefani Lukes interview, 1986 February 28. Metals Manufacturing in Four Montana Communities Oral History Project (OH 909). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr., 5 min.) 6-page summary. Topics include community life in Black Eagle from 1927 to 1986; her work at the local Miami Club; and operating the Two Brothers Market.



[i] Jodie Foley and David Walter. Speaking of Montana: A Guide to the Oral History Collection of the Montana Historical Society (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1997), 23.