1st editions of the three-volume series of documented regional history of the lower Clark Fork River valley in northwestern Montana, circa 1860s-1930, are out-of-print and rare collectibes. They are reproduced here with only a few of the 1000 photographs from the homesteaders private albums ~~~~~[SCROLL the LABELS to Volumes & Chapters IN RIGHT HAND PANEL to locate them]
Contact: Mona Leeson Vanek, 13505 E. Broadway Ave., Apt. 243, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
For all the valiant people whose lives are woven in this story. What, my soul, was thy errand here?
Was it mirth or ease,
Or heaping up dust from year to year?
"Nay, none of these!"
My Soul and I, John Greenleaf Whittier
My deepest appreciation goes first to God, whose purpose kept me in Montana where the events recorded here took place. He sustained and guided me all along the way.
Next comes my gratitude to Art, my husband, for his unstinting love, encouragement, support and the considerable amount of money it took to make it possible.
It was Audra Browman, a Missoula lady who collects historical facts about Montana, who sent me a great deal of pre-1900 material, thereby starting me in the search for more. Without her, this book might never have been written.
Special thanks go to the members of the Spokane Writers Club. It was Neta Frazier, beloved member of that august group, who said she doubted I had the necessary skills, then proceeded to guide me; Nellie Pickin, who always caught my grammatical errors and chided my use of adjectives and indiscriminate superlatives; Francine Donner, who always enjoyed the chapters I read, while gently prompting me to better them, saying, "Show, don't tell." And to all the other members who've listened patiently as I read to them, critiqued, suggested, and encouraged me to keep on, I'm gratefully indebted.
I not only give thanks for the generosity of those I interviewed, wrote letters to, telephoned and visited, but also for the abiding friendships that resulted. Words can't describe how much I learned from their examples that made my own families' lives better. Nor can words convey how much we miss Frank Berray, Clifford Weare, Lucy Jenkins, Clate Bauer and all the others who death has claimed.
A great deal of credit also goes to research librarians, especially to Ruth Ellen Bauer, Reading Room Supervisor, Division of Archives and Manuscripts at the Minnesota Historical Society who provided much of the Northern Pacific Railroad information, and to the Montana Historical Society, for use of the microfilms on deposit there and to Spirit Lake, Idaho librarian, Areta Davis, who got them for me.
To Marylyn Cork, Priest River historian, who has been my most devoted pen pal since shortly after I became disabled, who has raised my spirits countless times, shared her thoughts and perceptions, been my sincerest friend and staunchest supporter, just saying "Thank You" seems inadequate.
These acknowledgments wouldn't be complete without major credit going to the doctors and therapists who've tended my serious medical crisis' during the twenty years I've been collecting and assembling this material. Especially because of the expert care of neurosugeons Dr. Leonard Dwinnell, Dr. William Shanks, and the expert care of Richard Butt, Massage Therapist, my disabilities did not prevent this accomplishment.
To all the special people I've left unnamed who helped and encouraged me, whether by their words or deeds, I also give heartfelt thanks.