Bessie Marie Hannon Interview, June 27, 1988


Bessie Marie Hannon


Gladys Peterson



Download Audio Interview (47.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Bessie Hannon Interview (305 KB)


Bessie Hannon discusses her experience growing up and later raising a family in Darby, Montana, in the Bitterroot Valley. Hannon describes how her father and mother traveled by rail to Montana from Kansas in the 1890s, settled near Chaffin Creek, and later opened Twin Springs Dairy. She remembers working on the farm and attending a one-room school in the Bitterroot Valley then Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman, before becoming ill and returning home. She recalls her experiences working in Missoula, Bozeman, and Darby during the Great Depression. Bessie describes her marriage and her husband’s work for the U.S. Forest Service and his time working for the Army Engineers Corps in Alaska during World War Two. Hannon concludes by highlighting some of the changes she’s noticed in the Bitterroot Valley since 1901, such as the increasing number of roads, vehicles, and homes.

Although this interview is included in the Montana Educators Oral History Project, the interviewee was not a school teacher, and she only briefly mentions her husband’s short stint as an elementary school teacher.


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Document Type

Oral History


Homesteading; Farming; Montana; Bitterroot Valley; Darby, Montana; Chaffin Creek, Montana; Twentieth-Century; Railroad, Montana; Spanish Influenza; U.S. Forest Service; West Fork Ranger Station; Depression, 1929-1939; World War, 1939-1945; Teaching; Community service

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Montana Educators Oral History Project, OH 211, 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 211-007

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (17 p.: 28 cm.)]

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:37:44 minutes

Local Filename

OH_211_007.mp3; OH_211_007.pdf

Bessie Marie Hannon Interview, June 27, 1988