Cecile M. Carleton Interview, March 13, 1990


Cecile M. Carleton


Gladys Peterson



Download Audio Interview (115.3 MB)

Download Transcript of Cecile M. Carleton Interview (491 KB)


Cecile Carleton talks about her childhood in and around Butte, Montana, as the daughter of a Protestant Irish miner. She discusses the lack of educational opportunities for girls when she was a child, as well as her father’s view that she didn’t need more than an 8th-grade education. Carleton describes the lack of healthcare options available to poor families such as hers. She then recalls enrolling in Wesleyan College in Helena, Montana [now Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana], where she met and married her husband, Montana educator Linus Carleton. She describes their early years together while Linus was teaching in small school throughout Montana, including two years in Galata during Prohibition. She then explains how they came to Missoula in 1946, where Linus taught at the University of Montana’s School of Education. Carleton talks about her struggle to fit in with the other wives of university professors and her work as a cook at the Wesley House where she interacted with students who were protesting the Vietnam War. She mentions the work she and Linus did after his retirement, cooking for the Poverello Center when it was first established, and she concludes by discussing Linus’ death and reflecting on their life together.


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Document Type

Oral History


ducators, Montana; Primary education, Montana; Secondary education, Montana; Billings, Montana; Butte, Montana; Galata, Montana; Helena, Montana; Missoula, Montana; Moccasin, Montana; Thompson Falls, Montana; Whitehall, Montana; Northern Pacific Railroad; Irish in Montana; Wesleyan College, Helena, Montana; University of Montana; School of Education, University of Montana; Prohibition Era; World War, 1939-1945; Vietnam War, 1955-1975; United States Forest Service; Healthcare; Wesley House; Drugs and alcohol; University Women’s Club; Poverello Center; Death and dying

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Montana Communities 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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 239-001, 002

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassette (60 min.): analog + 1 transcript (34 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:32:33 minutes

Local Filename

OH_239_001_002.mp3; OH_239_001_002.pdf

Cecile M. Carleton Interview, March 13, 1990