Mary E. Mista Bell Interview, December 5, 1979


Mary E. Bell


Susan J. Buchel



Download Audio Interview (39.7 MB)

Download Transcript of Mary Bell Interview (180 KB)


Mary Bell recalls moving from Minnesota in 1941 to work at Glacier National Park before relocating to Missoula, Montana to serve as the Director of Food Operation at the Florence Hotel. Bell talks about the food rationing that occurred during World War Two and the strain that put on the hotel, which was the most popular social hub of Missoula at the time. She also remembers how many young American men were drafted into the war, which required the hotel to bolster its service staff with predominantly Italian-American internees who were held at Fort Missoula. Bell describes her positive interactions with those staff members and provide brief details about the other places in Missoula that employed internees.

Document Type

Oral History


World War, 1939-1945; Fort Missoula, Montana; Florence Hotel, Missoula, Montana; Wartime workforce; Internees, United State, World War

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

World War Two Detainees at Fort Missoula Oral History Collection, 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 065-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (10 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:30:35 minutes

Local Filename

OH_065_001.mp3; OH_065_001.pdf

Mary E. Mista Bell Interview, December 5, 1979