Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Free Search of Montana Newspapers

As you may already know, updates to Cyndi's List can be viewed directly on the website by clicking "Browse New Links," or you can sign up to receive regular emails showing newly added resources. In the April 12th update, Cyndi indicated that she had added a link to Montana Newspapers.

The Montana Newspapers site says: "This full-text searchable database contains 353,220 pages from 44 Montana newspapers dated 1885-2014, which were formerly made available on the Montana Memory Project. An additional 257,000 pages from Montana newspapers can be found at Chronicling America. There is no overlap between the two sites."

My husband has a Montana connection. His 3rd-great uncle, Hugh Kirkendall, was born in 1835 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, he was a wagonmaster at Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas. By 1870, Hugh was in Montana Territory. He died in 1897 at the age of 61.

A search on Montana Newspapers provided many mentions of Hugh, but the best find was his obituary from The Dillon Tribune:

    "Hugh Kirkendall, a well-known horseman, and one of the oldest pioneers in Montana, died this morning at his home in Helena of pneumonia after an illness of one week. His death was a surprise to most of his friends, for his condition had not been considered serious up to Saturday noon.
     Mr. Kirkendall was born in Pensylvania [sic] in 1835. When a youth he removed to Leavenworth, Kan. Most of his life was spent on the frontier. He visited Montana in 1858 with Colonel Rollin's expedition, sent out by the government to explore the source of the Yellowstone. During the war he was train master of the army operating in Kansas. In 1866 he came to Helena and engaged in the business of freighting and contracting. In 1871 he organized the H.K. Fast Freight between Corinne, Utah, and Helena. He had charge of the transportation of General Gibbons' army in the famous campaign of 1876, and was present at the battle of the Big Hole. He helped to build the Northern Pacific, Great Northern and Montana Central lines, having large contracts from each of these companies. His fast running horses have won many a race in Montana. The dead pioneer leaves a wife and four children."

A big thank you to Cyndi and the Montana Historical Society!

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