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Celebrate Montana history with us! Your interest and love of Montana’s past energizes our work. With your help, more real stories of the past can be shared and more history is preserved for future generations. We invite you to enjoy, engage, explore, know, visit, and preserve Montana history by joining and supporting the Montana Historical Society.

March Program

Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. James A. Murray: Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire, Presentation and book-signing by author Bill Farley.  An Irishman by birth, Jim Murray’s rise to great wealth began high in the Rocky Mountain West in the small town of Pioneer, Montana. There he hit his first big strike, hired others to work his claims, and earned a reputation as someone who “couldn’t be bluffed, wouldn’t be cheated, and didn’t scare at anything.”  From the Irish Land League protests of the 1880s through the Easter Rising of 1916, Murray used his money and influence to support the violent overthrow of Britain’s rule in his homeland. Hoping for the Crown’s defeat in World War I, Murray’s extremism reached its peak when future World War II General Omar Bradley was dispatched to Butte to stop Murray’s network of “Sinn Féiners” from impeding the supply of copper to Britain’s war machine. Bill Farley’s new book, James A. Murray: Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire, reveals for the first time the unvarnished story of Murray’s rise to great wealth and power, and the flamboyant cast of friends and family that endured his violent mood swings and his eccentric generosities.


March Lecture Series

The March Lecture Series is sponsored by the Friends of the Montana Historical Society as their primary annual fundraiser. Programs are held on Wednesdays at noon in the MHS auditorium. Lectures are $5.00 each. This year’s dynamic speakers will present a diverse and unique blend of interesting information on notable women from Montana’s past. Feel free to bring a brown-bag lunch.

*Wednesday March 7, 12:00 p.m. ~ Hooverizing:  Or How to Prove Your Patriotism by Cooking Without Eggs, Wheat, Sugar, Butter, Meat . . . In 1917, President Wilson appointed Herbert Hoover the federal Food Administrator. The Administration’s WWI education and promotion proved so successful in stirring national conscience about voluntary food rationing that the term “Hooverizing” came to symbolize local and personal successes as well as a national stamp of approval.  Reference Historian Zoe Ann Stoltz will describe how many Montana women embraced the obstacles created by food conservation, others, not so much. Fortunately for us, they happily shared recipes, strategies, and their unique stories.

*Wednesday March 14, 12:00 p.m.~ Like Ripples in a Pond: Mary Ronan and her Circle of Friends MHS interpretive historian Ellen Baumler explores the world of Montana pioneer Mary Ronan, who came to Montana as a child in 1863. Mary experienced the roughest mining camps and the witnessed major events that shaped the state. Baumler edited Mary’s colorful reminiscence under the title Girl from the Gulches.  In this program, “Like Ripples in a Pond: Mary Ronan and her Circle of Friends,” Baumler shares Mary’s remarkable story, its surprising far-flung connections, and how it came to be written down.      

*Wednesday March 21, 12:00 p.m. ~ A Strong Woman: The Life of Evelyn Cameron. Using the wealth of information provided by Evelyn's diaries and letters, historic interpreter Mary Jane Bradbury will present a portrait of this remarkable woman, including a look at the artistry and unique perspective expressed in her photographs.

*Wednesday March 28, 12:00 p.m.~ On Her Own Terms: The Outfitting Adventures of Mary Faith Hoeffner. Mary Faith Hoeffner owned and operated the K Lazy Three Ranch Outfitters & Guides based in Lincoln, Montana, for over thirty years. She was a wife, mother, horsewoman, camp chef, and crack shot. Her adventures led her all over the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wildernesses and into the hearts and memories of everyone who knew her. Before she passed away in October 2015, Mary Faith recorded some of her adventures, which have been transcribed and compiled by presenter Brad Hansen, Federal Grants Manager at SHPO.

For reservations: contact Katie White, kwhite@mt.gov or 444-9553
                             Indicate choices: 

March 7 =$5 March 14 =$5 March 21 =$5 March 28 =$5  

Make checks payable to: Friends of the MHS
Mail to: PO Box 201201 Helena MT 59620-1201



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Montana Historical Society logo. Big Sky. Big Land. Big History.

(406) 444-2694
(406) 444-2696 fax
P.O. Box 201201
225 N. Roberts
Helena, MT 59620

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