Margaret Woolaghan Nelson Interview, circa 1978


Margaret Nelson


May Vallance



Download Audio Interview (9.6 MB)

Download Transcript of Margaret Nelson Interview (174 KB)


Margaret Woolaghan Nelson describes her childhood in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana, during the early 1900s. She recalls her family moving to the valley from Butte, Montana, due to her father’s poor health. She discusses significant events in her childhood like her father’s funeral and her mother giving birth to Nelson’s younger sister. Nelson talks about her elementary education at the Fairview School, before the family relocated to Hamilton, Montana, where she attended the old Washington School and her teacher recommended she move down a grade. She concludes the interview by reminiscing about the time before her father died when her family went to cut a Christmas tree.


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Document Type

Oral History


Hamilton, Montana; Education, Montana; Schoolhouses, rural; Sawmills; Fairview School; Old Washington School; Butte, Montana; Silicosis; Black lung; Homesteading schools; Ravalli County, Montana; Bitterroot Valley, Montana

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Bitterroot Historical Society Oral History Project, OH 120, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 120-002b

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (60 min.) analog + 1 transcript (3 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:07:35 minutes

Local Filename

OH_120_002_b.mp3; OH_120_002_b.pdf

Margaret Woolaghan Nelson Interview, circa 1978