Dovie Zehnter Interview, October 21, 1976


Dovie Zehnter


Kathryn P. "Kathy" White



Download Audio Interview (106.0 MB)

Download Transcript of Dovie Zehnter Interview (318 KB)


Dovie Zehntner recalls her family moving to Montana in 1887 and homesteading outside of Helena, Montana, where her father worked in a mine. She discusses going to school in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, and educating her younger brothers and sister. She talks about attending town dances, playing games with her family, and listening to her mother explain about sex. Zehntner describes getting engaged at 17 and how her peers courted each other by going to dances. She reminisces about raising nine children, homesteading with her husband, and surviving a serious influenza epidemic that killed most of the adults living on the ranch. She discusses birth control methods and her experience with childbirth. Zehnter describes voting during the women’s suffrage movement and her family’s views on suffrage. She discusses her involvement in clubs and classes that were offered in her community including those related to home economics, nutrition, and sewing. She talks about the book Born to Be by Taylor Gordon, which describes the experiences of the one black family living in White Sulphur Springs. Zehnter also describes the town’s red light district.


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Document Type

Oral History


White Sulphur Springs, Montana; Mining, Montana; Helena, Montana; Homesteading, Montana; Influenza, 1918-19, Montana; Ranching, Montana; Birth control; Women’s suffrage, Montana; Red light districts, Montana; Gordon family, White Sulphur Springs, Montana; Taylor Emmanuel Gordon, 1893-1971

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Montana Women's Oral History Project, OH 049, 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 049-044, 045

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (28 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:23:24 minutes

Local Filename

OH_049_044_045.mp3; OH_049_044_045.pdf

Dovie Zehnter Interview, October 21, 1976