Johanna McElwain describes her childhood on a homestead at Douglas Creek, located outside of Drummond, Montana. She discusses the household chores she was assigned, what her family did for entertainment, and the community dances they attended. She talks about growing up in a German community, learning English, and attending grade school with her siblings. McElwain recalls working as a housekeeper in Missoula, Montana, when she was 16, going to dances in the Orchard Homes area, and meeting her husband. She describes her reluctance to get married then finally accepting his proposal. McElwain details her experiences giving birth and the pain of losing her first two children. She concludes by talking about the clubs to which she belonged, including Order of the Eastern Star and Daughters of the Nile, and what she remembers about women’s suffrage.
Drummond, Montana; Douglas Creek (Mont.); Missoula, Montana; German immigrants, Montana; Women’s education, Montana; Orchard Homes, Missoula, Montana; Order of the Eastern Star; Daughters of the Nile; Women’s suffrage, Montana; McElwain, Johanna – Interviews; Women -- Montana – Interviews; Women -- Montana -- Social conditions -- 20th century; Women -- Employment -- Montana -- History -- 20th century; Rural families -- Montana -- Helmville – Biography; Helmville (Mont.) -- Social life and customs – History; Deer Lodge (Mont.) -- Social life and customs – History; Childbirth -- Montana -- History -- 20th century; German Americans -- Montana -- Interview
Montana Women's Oral History Project, OH 049, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
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 / email@example.com
Oral History Number
1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (21 p.: 28 cm.)
McElwain, Johanna, "Johanna McElwain Interview, May 31, 1977" (1977). Montana Women's Oral History Project. 37.