New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project—Bibliography

This bibliography includes oral histories from the Montana Historical Society’s New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Oral History Project. This oral history project documented the economic recovery programs initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and 1940s. These Depression-era programs—including the Work Progress Administration (WPA), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Resettlement Administration—played a significant role in the state of Montana, which was listed as second in per capita receipt of New Deal dollars during the Depression. A large portion of the interviews focused on the lives of the workers involved in the Fort Peck Dam project, including cultural and social life in the area. The interviewees include people involved in agricultural programs, commerce, cultural development, Native American culture, labor, work projects, or state and county government. 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:

Charlotte Edwards interview, 1988 November 14. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1139). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 30-page transcript. Topics include her youth and schooling in Custer and Powder River Counties; working with the federal Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) in Powder River County; conditions during the 1930s Depression; and her work in the Custer County treasurer’s office.

Doris Gribble interview, 1989 February 28. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1157). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr. 10 min.) 36-page transcript. Topics include her early childhood in Oklahoma; her family’s relocation to Montana in 1916; attending school in Lewistown; raising a family in Great Falls during the 1930s Depression; her husband’s experiences with the WPA; her work as a licensed practical nurse in Great Falls and Townsend; the licensing of practical nurses in Montana; and changes in nursing since the late 1940s.

Effie Hogan interview, 1989 May 22. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1163). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 10-page transcript. Topics include her recollections of C.A. Asbury, the superintendent on the Crow Reservation; her husband, Superintendent Robert (Robbie) Yellowtail; the Shoshone Sun Dance; the Sun Dancers Caleb Bull Shows, William Big Day, Camel Big Hail, and Henry Big Day; Crow Fair celebrations; the construction of roundhalls; and the Crow language.

Elizabeth Phelps interview, 1988 November 16. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1140). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 36-page transcript. Topics include her childhood during the 1930s; the 1930s Depression; her mother’s employment at a WPA nursery school; social activities in Sidney; living conditions; farm activities; and National Youth Administration (NYA) projects.

George Brooks and Neva Brooks interview, 1989 February 16. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1156). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr. 10 min.) 28-page transcript. Neva Brooks recalls her early life and family; attitudes toward women during the 1920s and 1930s; her employment as a telephone operator; the 1930s Depression; her duties with the Montana legislature during the 1950s; and her retirement.

Julia June Chitwood Trees interview, 1988 December 13. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1152). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr. 50 min.) 58-page transcript. Topics include growing up in Carbon County during the 1930s Depression; her mother’s duties in a WPA sewing room; her own experiences with the National Youth Administration (NYA); and her career as a teacher.

Thelma Stearns Bondy interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1065). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (55 min.) 21-page transcript. Topics include life in Fort Peck during construction of the Fort Peck Dam; the nearby town of Martinsville; her work at a hotel, a store, and a cafe in Fort Peck; the slide disaster of 1938; and the flood of 1935. Resident of Fort Peck during the construction of the dam in the 1930s.

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Not Transcribed (may include a typed summary):

Bessie Hejlesen interview, 1989 February 15. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1154). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 6-page summary. Topics include her early life; the family’s relocation to Montana in a covered wagon; the family homestead; raising her own family; and the 1930s Depression.

Clarice Thomas interview, 1989 March 14. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1158). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 45 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include her children and family; her experiences as a Montana ranch wife before and during the 1930s Depression; President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s welfare programs, including the WPA, the CCC, and the Production Credit Association (PCA); her home in the town of Shawmut; making and selling apple-box furniture; social activities; the role of women in health care; living without electricity; drought; welfare dependency; and Christianity.

Donald Morrow and Agnes Wagner Morrow interview, 1988 August 15. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1135). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 35 min.) 17-page summary. Donald Morrow discusses growing up in Mildred and Glasgow; his marriage to Agnes; his family’s work during construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s; President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s visit to the dam in 1937; his memories of the community of Wheeler; his relocation to the town of Harlem; his experiences during construction of the Snake Butte Dam; and health care. Agnes Morrow speaks of the construction of the Fort Peck Dam; the 1930s Depression; women’s employment in the Fort Peck area; and family life.

Edi G. Massa Sernel interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1081). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (40 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include her childhood in Red Lodge; her work as a telephone operator for the project; general living conditions; and recreation. Resident of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Elliot and Ella Miller interview, 1988 July 22. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1128). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 50 min.) 14-page summary. Topics include his parents covered-wagon journey from South Dakota to Montana in 1914; homesteading; his experiences with the National Youth Administration (NYA) at Fort Keogh including horse breeding and frozen semen studies conducted by Dr. Stuart McKenzie; his education at Montana State University, Bozeman; ranching; and poetry. Ella Miller discusses her parents emigration from Ireland; her mother’s death; her marriage to Elliot; raising a family; her experiences with the NYA; athletics; coping with insects; and ranching.

Ethel E. George interview, 1988 November 18. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1137). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include her childhood in the Midwest; raising a family in Montana during the 1930s Depression; family life and health care; farming and ranching in the Miles City area; her relocation to the town of Kinsey as part of the Kinsey Farms Resettlement Project; and the 1943 flood in the lower Yellowstone Valley.

Ethelyn “Brownie” Mason interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1083). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include her secretarial work for the Fort Peck Dam project and local recreation. Resident of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Fred Roesler and Martha Roesler interview, 1988 November 17. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1148). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (20 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include conditions during the 1930s Depression; his jobs with the WPA; farm life; and drought. Residents of Plevna.

Helen Mathiason and Rena Eskro interview, 1988 November 17. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1141). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include their work with the National Youth Administration (NYA) during the 1930s; WPA developments; the 1930s Depression; and their relatives’ work for the Milwaukee Road.

Henry Christman and Lydia Christman interview, 1988 November 18. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1145). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 3-page summary. Topics include conditions during the 1930s Depression; working for the WPA moving buildings; social activities; and their children.

James Wiseman and Florence Wiseman interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1079). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 3-page summary. Topics include James’s work on the railroad, on the spillway, and on the rigger; Florence’s duties in a local laundry; general living conditions; and recreation.

Jean Stanley interview, 1988 July 20. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1127). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (15 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include growing up near Ismay; working in a WPA sewing room; her father’s WPA work; living conditions during the 1930s Depression; and the New Deal.

Jess Stovall interview, 1988 July 9. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1117). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape, 7-page summary. Jess Stovall discusses her work for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Yellowstone National Park area during the 1930s; Depression conditions; camp life; social activities; and men in the camp.

John Willman and Monte Rene Willman interview, 1988 November 17. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1147). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 8-page summary. Topics include their childhoods; conditions during the 1930s Depression; their duties with the WPA and with the National Youth Administration (NYA); social activities in Plevna; and members of the Northern Cheyenne tribe in the Lame Deer area.

Kenneth D. Turner, Marjorie Pearson Turner, and Barbara Pearson Kaiser interview, 1987 August 1. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1052). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (50 min.) 4-page summary. Topics include the operation of Hotel Wheeler; their work in the project barracks and the mess hall; and recreation. Residents of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Lawrence Haman and Lily Haman interview, 1988 November 18. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1149). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (45 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include conditions during the 1930s Depression; their employment by the WPA; ranching; droughts; and social activities in Miles City.

Lisa Kuebler Skinner interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1080). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 5 min.) 5-page summary. Topics include her work in a New Deal meat market; living conditions; recreation; the slide disaster of 1938; and her duties in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers information booth at the dam site. Resident of Fort Peck during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Madelia Jones, Dorotha Dewey Smith, and Doris Jeffries interview, 1987 August 1. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1051). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 5-page summary. Topics include their work in the hospital at Wheeler; their childhoods; a tick fever epidemic; and their parents’ work. Residents of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Madeline O’Neill interview, 1988 November 11. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1138). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 3-page summary. Topics include her work as a nurse in Bozeman and in Helena from the 1930s to the 1960s; various diseases; the lack of antibiotics; and the relationship between nurses and physicians.

Mae Takes Gun Childs interview, 1989 May 10. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1162). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 13-page summary. Topics include the differences between Crow Agency superintendents C. A. Asbury and Robert (Robbie) Yellowtail; the return of the Sun Dance to the Crow Reservation; Crow Fair celebrations; attending St. Xavier Mission school, run by the Ursuline Sisters; peyote and the police; CCC camps; and the Crow language.

Margaret Davis interview, 1989 April 19. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1159). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 30 min.) 14-page summary. Topics include her childhood; her parents’ homestead near Blossburg; her own homestead; starting a family; the 1930s Depression; seeing her first airplane; getting electricity; the importance of road construction; the 1935 earthquakes in Helena; relocating to Helena; World War I; World War II; and health care in rural areas.

Marge Fitzsimmons interview, 1987 August 1. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1101). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (15 min.) 1-page summary. Topics include her childhood; working in Flaten’s dress shop in Glasgow; her employment at the Fort Peck Buttrey’s grocery store; and recreation in the Fort Peck area.

Mary A. Ballentine interview, 1988 November 17. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1143). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (2 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include growing up in Idaho and Montana; her schooling; social activities in Miles City; her marriage and family; her husband’s jobs with the WPA as a welding instructor; and conditions during the 1930s Depression.

Mary Brady interview, 1988 July 19. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1125). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (55 min.) 15-page summary. Topics include her work in the Miles City WPA office from 1935 to 1938; the Depression; and her brief employment with the U.S. Civil Works Administration.

Mary LaRowe interview, 1989 May 19. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1161). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 10-page summary. Topics include her parents; growing up on a homestead near Glendive; her marriage and family; New Deal programs; and the Depression.

Norene Romig Brown interview, 1987 July 26. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1062). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr., 30 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include her work at Vornholt’s Drug Store in Fort Peck; recreation; dances; living quarters; the slide disaster of 1938; living in Glasgow; and her husband’s work on the dam.

Robert Taylor and Stella Clark Taylor interview, 1987 July 26. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1067). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (1 hr.) 4-page summary. Topics include his work as a surveyor and an engineering technician; community life in Park Grove; and living conditions in the Fort Peck area.

Ruby Morton Martin interview, 1987 July 31. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1102). Montana Historical Society Archives. 2 audio tapes (1 hr., 35 min.) 7-page summary. Topics include her training and work as a nurse; health care facilities at the dam; residing in a hotel; recreation; and living conditions. Resident of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.

Ruth Shanahan Van Faasen interview, 1987 August 3. New Deal in Montana / Fort Peck Dam Oral History Project (OH 1071). Montana Historical Society Archives. 1 audio tape (35 min.) 2-page summary. Topics include her work as a secretary in the project’s accounting office; living in a hotel; and recreation. Resident of the Fort Peck area during the construction of Fort Peck Dam in the late 1930s.