James Bell


James Bell Armstrong


Ina Tascher



Download Audio Interview (164.5 MB)

Download Tape Counter Index of James Armstrong Interview (3.6 MB)


James “J. B.” Armstrong tells stories from his childhood. He talks about his mother’s job as a midwife, and he recalls helping a cowboy who dislocated his shoulder. He also remembers burning his hand while playing with gunpowder. Armstrong talks about his father-in-law Moses Lantis who traveled from Walla Walla, Washington, to Yellowstone. He talks being the under-sheriff in Ekalaka, Montana, in 1930 and being elected Sheriff in 1933. Armstrong describes the clothes he would wear as a child. He also discusses his time working for the Burlington Railroad in Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1908. He recalls conflicts with the Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC] while he was sheriff in 1936. Armstrong further discusses his time as a truck driver when he hauled the first oil rig in Carter County. He talks about a flying school that was established and talks about the opening of the Ekalaka Post Office in 1935.

This audio has not been transcribed, but a tape counter index is available.


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Document Type

Oral History


Cowhands; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma; Pioneering; Montana; Washington; Sheridan, Wyoming; Oil rigs, Carter County; Ekalaka Post Office; Armstrong, James Bell, 1888-1971; Cowboys -- West (U.S.) – Interviews; Carter County (Mont.) -- History -- 20th century; Frontier and pioneer life -- Montana -- Ekalaka -- 20th century; Ekalaka (Mont.) -- History -- 20th century; Cowboys -- Wounds and injuries -- West (U.S.); Sheriffs -- Montana -- Ekalaka -- 20th century – Interviews; Women midwives -- Texas -- History -- 19th century; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company – Employees; Truck drivers -- Montana -- Carter County -- 20th century; Civilian Conservation Corps (U.S.). Camp Needmore (Mont.); Lantis, Moses

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

James Bell “J. B.” Armstrong Oral History Project, OH 034, 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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 034-005

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 reel-to-reel: analog + 1 tape counter index (6 p.: 28 cm)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

02:08:00 minutes

Local Filename

OH_034_005.mp3; OH_034_005_TCI.pdf

James Bell